Metals • Does a Relationship Exist between the Reactivity of a Metal & When it was Discovered? BY : M.Nabil 8e
Majority of the known elements are metals. • Out of more than 100+ elements there are, 86 of them are metals • Gold and Copper were amongst the first few metals to be found
Metals are arranged in the periodic table according totheir reactions. • This is also shown in the reactivity series Least reactive Most Reactive Au Hg Ag Cu Pb Fe Zn Al Mg Ca Na K
Until the end of the 17th century (and for a large span of some 7700 years), only 12 metals were known. • Tin • Platinum • Bismuth • Zinc • Arsenic Gold Silver Lead Mercury Iron
Relationship of the discovery time with the position in the reactivity series • Discovery of Elements as arranged in the order of their increasing Reactivity
The lesser the reactivity of a metal, the earlier it was discovered and conversely the more the reactivity of a metal, the later was its discovery. • Conclusion From the scientific logic, a metal that was reactive was expected to be occurring in a combined state (in form of its compounds with other elements), posing a challenge for its extraction from the ores and needing extra effort both in form of man’s ability and his knowledge. And as the reactivity of the metal increased, the level of this challenge also increased. Naturally with man’s ability having evolved over the years, he was able to discover the more and more difficult (from extraction point of view) metals (that were actually more and more reactive metals) as well as find their virtues and applications. The trend does not have to be followed strictly by each and every metal in relation to each and every metal adjacent to it, since there may have been certain other determining factors also (including the chance factor), besides the effect of this strong scientific factor. But generally if we consider the metals arranged in the reactivity-series in form of chunks, then this trend was more or less observed everywhere with the exception of Platinum (which got discovered too late), Mercury (which got discovered a bit late) and Iron (which got discovered a bit too early for the trend).
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