Sunday, January 23, 2011

Alkaline earth metals

The alkaline earth metals are a series of elements comprising Group 2 (IUPAC style) (Group IIA) of the periodic table: beryllium (Be), magnesium (Mg), calcium (Ca), strontium (Sr), barium (Ba) and radium (Ra).^[1] This specific group in the periodic table owes its name to their oxides that simply give basic alkaline solutions. These oxides melt at such high temperature that they remain solids (“earths”) in fires. The alkaline earth metals provide a good example of group trends in properties in the periodic table, with well-characterized homologous behavior down the group. With the exception of Be and Mg, the metals have a distinguishable flame color, brick-red for Ca, magenta-red for Sr, green for Ba and crimson red for Ra.

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