# Virtual Lab Activity Series Science Lab Template

Name
Class Period
Virtual Lab: Activity Series
Background:
The usefulness of metals in structural and other applications depends on their physical and chemical
properties. Although iron is the most common metal used in manufacturing, it must be protected
against
corrosion because rusts easily. Copper is used in electrical wiring because it conducts electricity
extremely well and resists corrosion better than many metals. Gold is a highly valuable jewelry metal
because it is essentially unreactive. How can we determine the relative reactivity of different metals?
To determine the activity of metals you can compare the reactions of metals with different
metal ions. Consider equation 1 and 2 below:
2Al(s) + 3CuCl
(aq)
2AlCl
(aq) + 3Cu(s)
(Equation 1)
2
3
Cu(s) + AlCl
(aq)
No Reaction (Equation 2)
3
The reaction of aluminum with copper (II) chloride (Equation 1) is classified as a single replacement
reaction – aluminum reacts with and “replaces” copper ions in copper (II) chloride. Single replacement
reactions will occur spontaneously in one direction only (compare Equations 1 and 2). A more active
metal always replaces the ion of a less active metal. In general, the activity of a metal may be defined
as follows:
An active metal will react with a compound of a less active metal, which is converted to its “free
element” form. The more active metal forms a new compound containing metal cations. Based on
Equation 1, aluminum is more active than copper and therefore replaces the copper (this is called a
single replacement reaction).
Objective:
-To explore the reactivity of metals
-To practice writing single replacement reactions
-To practice using the activity series chart in your reference table
Procedure:
REFER TO THE ONLINE LAB AT FOR DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS.
The lab can be found at:
Complete Activity 1 only.
Data/Results:
Table 1—Record your observations to the simulations below (i.e. bubbling, color change, no reaction,
etc.)
Metal
Aqueous Solution
Mg
Cu
Zn
Ag
Mg(NO
)
3
2
Zn(NO
)
3
2
Cu(NO
)
3
2
Ag(NO
)
3