Answer in Brief
What are the common physical features of alkali metals?
Physical properties of alkali metals are as follows.
- They are quite soft and can be cut easily. Sodium metal can be easily cut using a knife.
- They are light coloured and are mostly silvery-white in appearance.
- They have low density because of their large atomic sizes. The density increases down the group from Li to Cs. The only exception to this is K, which has a lower density than Na.
- The metallic bonding present in alkali metals is quite weak. Therefore, they have low melting and boiling points.
- Alkali metals and their salts impart a characteristic colour to flames. This is because the heat from the flame excites the electron present in the outermost orbital to a high energy level. When this excited electron reverts back to the ground state, it emits excess energy as radiation that falls in the visible region.
- They also display a photoelectric effects. When metals such as Cs and K are irradiated with light, they lose electrons.
Concept: Group 1 Elements - Alkali Metals
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