Make your own free website on
Elements Around the World

Group 2a Elements- Alkaline Earth Metals

Transistion Metals
Group VI A Elements
Group 17 Elements: Halogens
Group 2a Elements- Alkaline Earth Metals
Group 1a-Alakali Metals

The Alkaline Earth Metals Travel to London!

Solid MgO enjoying it's trip to london


Physical Properties

*The Group 2 elements are all metals with a shiny, silvery-white colour.
*harder and denser than sodium and potassium
*higher melting points than sodium and potassium
*Atomic and ionic radii increase as you move down the Group
*Three of these elements give characteristic colours when heated in a flame:

Mg brilliant white
Ca brick-red
Sr crimson
Ba apple green

magnesium burning in nitrous oxide

Magnesium is the only Group 2 element used frequently. It is used in flares, tracer bullets and incendiary bombs because of the bright light it gives off when it burns. It is also used to create an alloy with aluminium to produce a low-density, strong material used in aircraft production. The oxide that magnesium forms has such a high melting point that it is used to line the inside of furnaces.

Interesting Facts

*All Group 2a metals can be found in the earth's crust, but not in their pure form. This occurs because of the high reactivity of this group.
*Magnesium is the eighth most abundant element in the Earth’s crust, and calcium is the fifth.
*The main source of magnesium is the ocean. Magnesium is pulled from ocean water by adding calcium hydroxide. The resulting reaction precipitates magnesium hydroxide.

Reaction Patterns
Group 2a elements are called Alkaline Earth Metals because of the basicity of their oxides.  The only oxide to show acidic properties such as disolving in aqueous solutions is BeO. 

The more active of the Alkaline Earth Metals react with water just like the Alkali Earth metals do.  This reaction produces hydrogen gas.  Calcium, strontium and barium perform this reaction at 25 degrees C.  Magnesium and barium do not react with water at 25 degrees C.  Magnesium reacts with boiling water.
The heavier alkaline earth metals react with nitrogen or hydrogen at high temperatures to produce ionic nitride or hydride salts.  Barium hydride cannot be formed by a combination of barium and hydrogen, but by a double displacement involving barium chloride and lithium hydride.

Jordan Colburn