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Physical Properties Of Elements Of Group IIA

Physical Properties of elements of Group IIA Assignment / Homework Help
As seen in our previous sessions, s-block includes two groups group IA and the group IIA. Here is a discussion on physical properties of group IIA elements.

Elements included in this group include the beryllium, magnesium, calcium, strontium, barium and radium. Among all the elements, radium is the radioactive element. Abundant amounts of oxides of these elements are found in the earth's crust. So, group IIA elements are also termed as alkaline earth metals.

Physical properties :

  • Physical nature:

  • These elements have two electrons in their outermost orbital. They have a silvery luster. But, it soon disappears upon exposure to air. They are malleable and ductile but very less when compared to alkali metals.

  • Atomic Volume and Radius:

  • As we go down the group, the number of electrons is less when compared to the increase in the number of available orbitals. Hence, the atomic radius increases gradually as we move down the group. It should be noted that these elements are smaller when compared to alkali metals. This is because of the presence of two electrons in the outermost shell. Hence, the effect of the nucleus on the outermost shell is comparatively more than the alkali metals which have a single electron.

  • Density:

  • Due to presence of two electrons in the outermost shell they can be more densely packed compared to alkali metals.

  • Melting and Boiling Points:

  • These elements have a higher boiling and melting points. Due to presence of two electrons in the valence shell they remain tightly packed in solid state.

  • Ionization Energy:

  • Alkaline earth metals have a smaller size and higher nuclear charge as a result of which the valence electrons are held strongly. Hence, more amount of energy is required to remove an electron from the valence electron resulting in high ionization energies.

  • Oxidation State:

  • Due to the presence of two electrons in the valence shell, elements of group IIA exhibit +2 oxidation i.e. they are bivalent.

  • Electropositivity:

  • As the size to charge ratio is very high, they are highly electropositive in nature.

  • Electronegativity:

  • As they are highly electropositive, they are less electronegative. Electronegativity decreases as we move down the group. Beryllium is highly electronegative due to small size.

  • Conductivity:

  • They are good conductors of heat and electricity. This is due to the presence of a two electrons that can very easily move within the crystal lattice of the elements.

  • Flame colorization:

  • When the elements are heated, electrons present in the valence shell are excited to higher energy levels. When the excited electrons return back after losing the energy they emit certain amount light. All Alkaline earth metals except beryllium and magnesium emit various colors depending on the degree of excitation. These two elements due to their smaller size have high ionization energies and high excitation energy. Hence, they are not excited to higher energy states and thus no flame colorization. .

  • Reducing property:

  • The two electrons in the valence shell can be very easily removed. Hence, all alkaline earth metals act as strong reducing agents. The reducing nature increases as we move down the group. However, the reducing nature of alkaline earth metals is less than their fellow s-block elements, the alkali metals.


Solved problems
  • Which of the following elements does not show flame colorization?
    • Calcium
    • Barium
    • Strontium
    • Beryllium
    Answer: d
  • Which of the following statements is false?
    • Strong reducing agents
    • All the elements show flame colorization
    • Highly electronegative
    • less electropositive
    • B and d
    Answer: e
  • No of electrons present in the valence shell of the alkaline earth metals
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    Answer: b
  • Which of the following statements is true regarding alkaline earth metals?
    • Malleable and ductile
    • Good conductors of heat and electricity
    • Poor reducing agents
    • A and b
    Answer: d

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