Properties of Transition Metals

1. State one chemical property of transition metals that is not shared by Group 1 metals

Answer: catalytic properties or they form ions with different charges or they form coloured compounds


2. State one physical property of transition metals that is not shared by Group 1 metals.

Answer: they tend to have higher melting points or higher densities or greater strength or hardness


3. Sodium (Na) is a metal in Group 1 and reacts rapidly with oxygen gas at room temperature whilst nickel (Ni) is a transition metal which must be heated to high temperatures before it reacts.

a) Nickel reacts with oxygen gas to form nickel oxide (NiO). Give the balanced symbol equation for this reaction.

Answer: 2Ni + O2  →  2NiO


b) Metal atoms react by losing their outer-shell electrons to form positively charged ions. Explain why an atom becomes positively charged when it loses an electron. Answer in terms of sub-atomic particles.

Answer: Protons are positively charged and electrons are negatively charged. In atoms there are the same number of protons as electrons, so their charges cancel out. When an atom loses one electron there will be one more proton than electrons, so the charges will no longer cancel and the ion will be positively charged overall.


c) Explain why nickel is less reactive than sodium with oxygen.

Answer: It is harder for nickel atoms to lose their outer-shell electrons than sodium atoms.


d) When nickel reacts, its atoms form Ni2+ ions. Give the half-equation, including electrons, to show how a nickel atom forms a nickel ion.

Answer: Ni  →  Ni2+ + 2e


4. Manganese and rubidium are both metals. Manganese is a transition metal. Rubidium is a Group 1 alkali metal.

a) Manganese and rubidium share several properties with each other. Which property from the list below is common to both metals?

• magnetism      • shiny when polished      • low reactivity      • catalytic behaviour

Answer: shiny when polished


b) Manganese is often used in glass making. Give one property of transition metals that makes manganese useful in glass making.

Answer: Transition metals form coloured compounds.


c) The table below shows some of the properties of manganese and lithium. Use this data and your own knowledge to compare the chemical and physical properties of transition metals and Group 1 metals.


Answer: Chemical properties: transition metals (and their compounds) tend to have catalytic properties/can be used as catalysts, form ions with different charges and form coloured compounds whilst Group 1 metals do not.
Physical properties
: transition metals tend to be harder/stronger, have higher densities and higher melting points than Group 1 metals.