Periodic Table Groups


Investigative Science –P
Friday September 4th, 2015
Perry High School
Notebook pages: 72-73
Mr. Pomerantz_________________________________________________________________________Page 1 of 4
There are two main groups on the periodic table: metals and nonmetals. The left-side of the table contains elements with
the greatest metallic properties. As you move from left to right, the elements become less metallic with the far right side
of the table consisting of nonmetals. The elements in the middle of the table are “transition” elements because they are
changing from metallic properties to nonmetallic properties. Elements touching a zigzag line, on the right side of the
table, are metalloids because they have both metallic and nonmetallic properties.
The table is in vertical columns called “groups” or “families” and horizontal rows called “periods”. Each arrangement is
significant. The elements in each vertical column or group have similar properties. Group 1 elements all have one
electron in their outer shells. This gives them similar properties. Group 2 elements all have 2 electrons in their outer
shells. This also gives them similar properties. Not all of the groups, however, hold true for this pattern. The elements in
the first period or row all have one shell. The elements in period 2 all have 2 shells. The elements in period 3 have 3
shells and so on.
There are a number of major groups with similar properties. They are as follows:
Hydrogen: this element does not match the properties of any other group so it stands alone. It is above group 1 but it is
not part of that group. It is a very reactive, flammable, colorless, odorless gas at room temperature. Hydrogen has only 1
valence electron.
Group 1: Alkali metals – These metals are extremely reactive and never exist in nature in their pure forms. Scientists
keep pure alkali metals in mineral oil or kerosene, preventing any explosive reactions with water they are silver colored
and shiny. Their density is extremely low, making soft enough to cut with a knife. They conduct heat and electricity.
Alkali metals have 1 valence electron.
Group 2: Alkaline-earth Metals – Alkaline-earth metals are slightly less reactive than alkali metals. However alkaline-
earth metals are still to reactive to be found alone in nature; they are common in rock formations. They are silver
colored, have higher densities then alkali metals, and possess 2 valence electrons.
Groups 3-12: Transition Metals-these metals have a range of reactivity and wide range of properties. In general, they are
shiny and good conductors of heat and electricity. They are malleable and ductile, like all metals. They also have higher
densities and melting points than groups 1 and 2. Iron, cobalt and nickel are transition metals and they are the only
known element to produce a magnetic field. Transition metals have 1or 2 valence electrons.
Lanthanides (58-71) and Actinides (90-103): These transition metals can be found at the bottom of the table so the table
is not too wide. The elements in these two periods share many properties. The lanthanides are shiny and reactive. The
actinides are radioactive and are therefore unstable. Elements 90-103 do not exist in nature but scientists can
manufacture them in a lab.
Group 13: Boron group – Contains 1 metalloid, 4 metals and all are reactive. Aluminum is in this group. It is also the
most abundant metal in the earth’s crust. Elements in the boron group have 3 valence electrons.
Group 14: Carbon Group – Contains 1 nonmetal, 2 metalloids, and 2 metals and the elements have different reactivity.
These elements have 4 valence electrons.
Group 15: Nitrogen Group – Contains 2 nonmetals, 2 metalloids, and 1 metal element. Reactivity of these elements is
variable, but they all have 5 valence electrons.
Group 16: Oxygen Group contains 3 nonmetals, 1 metalloid, and 1 metal. All the elements are reactive and have 6
valence electrons.
Group 17: Halogens – All the halogens are nonmetals and all are very reactive. They are poor conductors of heat and
electricity and tend to form “salts” with metals. NaCl, for example: Na (sodium) is metal and Cl (chlorine) is a halogen.
Halogens can be solid, liquid or gas at room temperature. All the halogens have 7 valence electrons.
Group 18: Nobel gases – These are non-reactive, nonmetals. All are colorless and odorless gases at room temperature.
All are found in Earth’s atmosphere in small amounts and all have a stable arrangement of 8 valence electrons.


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