Get an answer in 5 minutes

We'll notify as soon as your question has been answered.

Plus iconAsk a question to our educators
Asked by Rayon

Which is more reactive between sodium and potassium?

Both Na and K are Group 1 metals, meaning they possess 1 electron in their valance shell of electrons. K is further down in group 1 because it has more electron shells. K also has more protons than Na, this would lead one to assume that the nuclear force of attraction between the positive nucleus and the valance shell of electrons would be stronger (since opposite charges attract), however, due to the greater number of shells between the nucleus and the outer shell, more shielding of the nuclear attraction occurs. This means less energy is required to break the forces of attraction between the nucleus and outer shell electron in Potassium compared to Sodium. Thus increasing the reactivity.

Gurjeet's profile picture
Gurjeet Cheema

358 students helped

Due to both potassium and sodium possessing one electron in their outer shell, they are both Group 1 elements. The reactivity of this group increases as you go down as the atoms become larger, and the outer electron will move further away from the nucleus and the force of attraction between the outer electron decreases and nucleus. As potassium is larger than sodium, potassium's electron is further away from the nucleus thus, the outer electron is lost easier. This requires less energy and therefore can be said to be more reactive.

Urvi's profile picture
Urvi Sangani

365 students helped

Similar Chemistry questions

What is Q&A on Scoodle?

At Scoodle we understand that everyone learns in a different way. Some people learn through practice, using essays and notes; others prefer video lessons to watch and learn, some just need help with a specifically hard question, while some learn best 1-on-1 tutoring sessions. At Scoodle we cater for all types of learning styles and needs. From GCSE Maths video lessons to A-level English essays and specialist educators in every subject - we’ve got you covered.

Faces of students on ScoodleFaces of students on ScoodleFaces of students on Scoodle
Scoodle has helped over 131,000 students so far

Need help with Secondary Chemistry?

Getting expert help from a tutor is a great way to improve your Chemistry grades.

Badge showing the text 'New'Discover learning resources by tutors

Learn Chemistry with Video Lessons
A-Level Physical Chemistry
1hr 9m · 7 videos
Ibrahim's profile picture
Ibrahim Dangra

2.2k students helped

A-Level Physical Chemistry
GCSE Chemistry: The Basics
12m · 2 videos
Beatrix's profile picture
Beatrix Huissoon

2.1k students helped

GCSE Chemistry: The Basics