Talk:Alkali metal

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Good article Alkali metal has been listed as one of the Natural sciences good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
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Any chemists wanna include something about water and alkali metals? I know that it's a common demo in high school classes to put sodium in water and watch it blow. I just don't remember the specifics. Surely someone knows them. --User:comrade009

What does 'excepting' mean in this article? It is not the proper word.

Main Entry: 1ex·cept Pronunciation: ik-'sept Variant(s): also ex·cept·ing /-'sep-ti[ng]/ Function: preposition

with the exclusion or exception of <daily except Sundays>


I think it should be 'including' and I will change it as such.


  • I think that Alkali should be redirected to this page. Any objections?

I'd actually say "alkali" should be redirected to base (chemistry), as alkali more correctly and commonly refers to that. Alkali metals are just metals that form alkalis. --ES2 20:28, 24 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Suggest 3 possible wiki links and 23 possible backlinks for Alkali metal.[edit]

does any1 know why alkali metals & halogens are really active? NO

remove the words "not at" in the first sentence of para 2[edit]

The article says: "The alkali metals are not at all highly reactive..."

Shouldn't it be: "The alkali metals are all highly reactive..."? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Richard M. Childs (talkcontribs) 17:31, 22 February 2007 (UTC).

alkali metals[edit]

What is the relationship between the melting point and the atomic radius of alkali metals. and what is the reason for this?

  • Alkali metals have a large atomic radius, which causes the melting point of Alkali metals to be lower than other elements because the atoms are less tightly bonded to each other by London Dispersion Forces and other transient bonds. Picture two planets - a huge, but not very dense planet and identical planet rotating around each other will not be as strongly attracted to as two extremely dense bodies orbiting around a common center. Inhuman14 (talk) 16:41, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

"Homosexual behavior"?[edit]

"The alkali metals provide one of the best examples of group trends in properties in the periodic table, with well characterized homosexual behavior down the group." Looks like trolling to me. I don't know about chemistry; someone else with more knowledge want to fix this? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:53, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

I saw another, similar example under the Properties section: "The alkali metals are all high hormones and are never found in elemental form in nature." This looks like another recent vandalism attempt, as the edit dates from 6 October. The original reads: "The alkali metals are all highly reactive and are never found in elemental form in nature." I will revert this vandalism. (talk) 00:24, 8 October 2009 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Alkali metal/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Grondemar 13:08, 1 March 2011 (UTC)

 Working I will aim to post this review by later today / early tomorrow. Grondemar 13:08, 1 March 2011 (UTC)

Unfortunately, after review there are a few big issues that will prevent this article from achieving good article status at this time:

  • There is a [citation needed] in the lead, and several paragraphs throughout the article are uncited. In general, there should be at least one citation per paragraph.
  • Scope issue: Is hydrogen an alkali metal or not? The lead says it is not, a later table says "...hydrogen is is included for comparison", but other tables and sections of prose treat hydrogen as if it is an alkali metal. Consistency is needed throughout the article on this.
  • I realize this article is summarizing various similar elements, but is there a way to convert the bulleted lists into free-flowing prose?
  • Applications section: in the wikilinks "Applications" and "Uses" should not be capitalized.
GA review (see here for criteria)
  1. It is reasonably well written.
    a (prose): b (MoS for lead, layout, word choice, fiction, and lists):
  2. It is factually accurate and verifiable.
    a (references): b (citations to reliable sources): c (OR):
  3. It is broad in its coverage.
    a (major aspects): b (focused):
  4. It follows the neutral point of view policy.
    Fair representation without bias:
  5. It is stable.
    No edit wars, etc.:
  6. It is illustrated by images, where possible and appropriate.
    a (images are tagged and non-free images have fair use rationales): b (appropriate use with suitable captions):
  7. Overall:

Thanks. Grondemar 13:21, 3 March 2011 (UTC)

More points[edit]

I'm not sure the article should go anywhere in it as far as element 169, it's very speculated and not so important (if at all). By the way, calculations[1] show that the element 169 would be [Uuo]8s25g186f147d108p39s29p2... See, it's complicated. It may also be interesting that element 119 may be actually closer in behavior to rubidium than caesium or francium, but also show oxidation state +3 as well.[2] See also section doesn't need to link the metals and other stuff mentioned in the article (that's what I learned from fluorine FAC)... (This maybe not needed, but I strongly recommend not to breaks each section into subsection with titles like "Lithium" makes the sections look more like lists, and doesn't look so good) Oh yeah, with its [citation needed] tags and missing application section (come on, wikilinks don't count as a real section), as well as many unreferenced paras, I'm turning it back to C-class. But it doesn't mean you shouldn't try to bring it back!--R8R Gtrs (talk) 13:09, 15 May 2011 (UTC)


  1. ^ Haire, Richard G. (2006). "Transactinides and the future elements". In Morss; Edelstein, Norman M.; Fuger, Jean. The Chemistry of the Actinide and Transactinide Elements (3rd ed.). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer Science+Business Media. p. 1722. ISBN 1-4020-3555-1.  (right, it had an appearance on WT:ELEM)
  2. ^ same source, pages 1729-1730

Perhaps this material would be more suitable in ununennium? Lanthanum-138 (talk) 13:15, 16 May 2011 (UTC)

At least the referencing is not too bad (I'll soon rewrite the last sections). Lanthanum-138 (talk) 13:35, 16 May 2011 (UTC)
It is not. Regardless [citation needed] tags, I found 14 unreferenced paragraphs.--R8R Gtrs (talk) 18:01, 16 May 2011 (UTC)
I know, but it's better than some other C-class articles. ;-) I'm now adding more references. Lanthanum-138 (talk) 04:27, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

Missing section[edit]

Ammonium ion has to be mentioned. It resembles the heavier alkali metals well and is considered a close relative of the alkali metals. The Hollemann Wiberg book mentiones it in the same section and most wet analytical chemistry books do the same. --Stone (talk) 21:08, 16 May 2011 (UTC)

Maybe mention thallium then? It was commonly considered an alkali metal before Mendeleev's table.--R8R Gtrs (talk) 13:56, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
1869 Mendeleev's and 1864 Meyer's...are they enough? Note that there also was an opposite view: this source says Tl was commonly an alkali metal in Europe, but not in Britain.--R8R Gtrs (talk) 17:50, 8 January 2012 (UTC)
I can't find Meyer's 1864 table, but I've put Mendeleev's 1869 table into the article for Tl. Double sharp (talk) 08:05, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
I've also cited Crookes' paper. Double sharp (talk) 08:12, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
Where was Meyer's 1864 table published? Double sharp (talk) 08:18, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

Citation without reference book[edit]

This [1] cite does not seem to point to any book. Does anyone know what this cite is referencing?MW 13:53, 12 November 2011 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Alkali metal/GA2. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Tea with toast (talk · contribs) 22:35, 23 November 2011 (UTC)

Hello! I am excited to review this article; however, it might take me a few days to complete this. I want to do a thorough review of this to make sure everything is accurate since I feel this article covers an important topic. --Tea with toast (話) 22:35, 23 November 2011 (UTC)

Issues needing to be addressed[edit]

Yes check.svg All Done StringTheory11 (talk)

I have completed my review of the body of the text in the article. I will still need to take more time to work through the references, but here are some tasks that need to be taken care of in the meantime. From top to bottom, here it is:

  • Lead When writing a lead, I feel an important part of it is to give the audience reasons why they should care about this topic. The lead should have a paragraph that states that these elements have important industrial uses and biological functions.
Yes check.svg Done StringTheory11 (talk)
  • History While the article states when the elements were first isolated in metallic form, I feel it should also share some more history about the knowledge of these elements before then. For example, in the first sentence of the "Sodium" subsection: "Although sodium has long been recognized in compounds...", there should instead be a sentence more like this: "Sodium was known to exist in compounds x, y, z, but was not isolated until..."
Yes check.svg Done for sodium and potassium. The others seemed to already have had enough info. StringTheory11 (talk)
  • Occurrence Being that these elements do not occur as metals in nature, it is important to state the form in which they do occur in nature, namely as different mineral types. There were important sentences that were hidden, likely because there was a "citation needed" tag, but I don't think it should be too hard to find refs for these. You might try looking through refs that are found in the main articles for the elements, or they might already be stated in some of the refs that are already a part of the article.
Yes check.svg Done StringTheory11 (talk)
  • Biological Occurrence Many citations are needed here, and this section could also benefit from expansion.
    • Sodium and potassium are hugely important – not just for humans, but for plants and animals too. You do not have to go into as much detail as the Sodium and Potassium articles do, but I think an overview would help the audience appreciate the topic more.
Yes check.svg Done StringTheory11 (talk)
    • Cesium is highly toxic; its toxicity should be given more prominence here.
Yes check.svg Done} StringTheory11 (talk)
  • Precaution I don't see the point of this section unless it is expanded. Most of the biological precautions should be noted in that section. (For example, the last sentence about Francium could be moved to the previous section). If you want to write more about the explosiveness or how it should be handled in industrial purposes, write that here.
yellow tickY Partly done, I don't really think how the metals should be handled is necessary for an overview. StringTheory11 (talk)
  • References I will need some more time to go through all of these, but please take a look at them yourself to make sure that all of the items are in formal citation style. For example, I see that some refs have nothing more than a title and retrieval date. If authorship and publishing data are available, please list them.
Yes check.svg Done StringTheory11 (talk)

Overall, I see that this article has seen many improvements since its last nomination, and I hope to see this article improved even further. Happy editing! --Tea with toast (話) 02:09, 27 November 2011 (UTC)

Issues with references[edit]

Alright, I've finished with my review and here are the following items that need to be taken care of, specifically about the references:

  • Ref#7, the reference about mineral oil is not there. Find a new one
Yes check.svg Done StringTheory11 (talk)
  • I assume that Ref#11 is the one used for the each of the elements in the table given in the article; however, from the placement of the citation note, it looks to be only referring to Francium. Also the link does not direct to the page where the information is given. It looks like each element has a separate page, and I think to be correct about it, you will need to produce a link to each page you are taking information from. While you are doing this, notice that Ref#74 also links to the same website, so be sure not to produce a duplicate ref.
Yes check.svg Done StringTheory11 (talk)
  • The following refs need full citation: #12, 13, 18, 42.
Yes check.svg Done StringTheory11 (talk)
  • Ref#15 is dead, but I don't think you need it anyways as Refs 16 and 17 are sufficient
Yes check.svg Done StringTheory11 (talk)
  • Ref#3 and 36 are citing the same paper. Please remove the duplication.
Yes check.svg Done StringTheory11 (talk)
  • Ref#52 and 53 links both time out. The webpages probably moved; if you can't track them down, then find new refs.
Yes check.svg Done StringTheory11 (talk)
  • Ref# 39, 77, 83 are all citing pages from the same website, but the citation styles are different. Please cite them as follows: e.g. Mark Winters. "Title".(with the title linking to the website) WebElements. Retrieved...
Yes check.svg Done StringTheory11 (talk)
  • Finally, the Bibliography should be alphabetized by author
Yes check.svg Done StringTheory11 (talk)

I will place this article on hold until these, and the above items, have been addressed. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. Unfortunately, I will not have much time to be on Wikipedia most of next week, but I will respond to you when I can. For this reason, I will permit a time frame of longer than one week if necessary. Happy editing! --Tea with toast (話) 06:10, 27 November 2011 (UTC)

GA review – see WP:WIAGA for criteria

  1. Is it reasonably well written?
    A. Prose quality:
    B. MoS compliance for lead, layout, words to watch, fiction, and lists:
  2. Is it factually accurate and verifiable?
    A. References to sources:
    B. Citation of reliable sources where necessary:
    C. No original research:
  3. Is it broad in its coverage?
    A. Major aspects:
    B. Focused:
  4. Is it neutral?
    Fair representation without bias:
  5. Is it stable?
    No edit wars, etc:
  6. Does it contain images to illustrate the topic?
    A. Images are copyright tagged, and non-free images have fair use rationales:
    B. Images are provided where possible and appropriate, with suitable captions:
  7. Overall:
    Pass or Fail:
    Thank you for addressing all of the items that I had listed above. I am impressed with the changes that have been made. Good work! --Tea with toast (話) 06:03, 3 December 2011 (UTC)

Francium images[edit]

Would it be possible to use any of the images of francium in the francium article under a claim of fair use to illustrate francium for this article? Whoop whoop pull up Bitching Betty | Averted crashes 03:42, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

Probably not. Further, I am rather skeptical about the use of those images even in the francium article. They show not francium but its emission, which is difficult to relate to anything and which depends on how it was excited. Materialscientist (talk) 04:26, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
What was meant by "fluorescence image" for File:Francium.jpg? I'm not sure. Double sharp (talk) 07:01, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
I found out from Materialscientist that it means an image of light emitted by the sample. Double sharp (talk) 10:11, 26 January 2012 (UTC)

"Concept" of the alkali metals[edit]

I have removed this heading because I thought it sounded silly and inappropriate. It makes it sound like the 'concept' for a movie or TV show or some other artistic work. I've never seen any chemistry text book which has a similar heading within a chapter. I do agree that it would make a useful addition to the article to state when the term 'alkali metals' first came into common usage, but this could be done with a simple sentence in the intro, not in a sub-section called "concept". Also it might be informative to explore whether the term predated the periodic table. (There were certainly three alkali metals as one of Dobereiner's triads, I recall...?). This is also applicable to the alkaline earth metals article.--feline1 (talk) 20:57, 31 March 2012 (UTC)

I don't get where you're coming from. The "concept" section of alkali metal and alkaline earth metal is to explain how they were noticed to be related, who noticed that, etc.. I don't get why you believe this isn't important. I don't want an edit war; I'll leave your version until something is decided. StringTheory11 21:20, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
If you read what I wrote, you'll see I *do* think the content that might go in this section is important: what I think is silly is the wording of the sub-heading, which is not a style of language I have ever seen used in that manner in a chemistry book. I agree with DMacks that the sort of content you have in mind should simply go directly under 'History' at the top level.--feline1 (talk) 11:48, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
I agree that (pending actual content to prove me wrong) this section-title seems vague and informal. It sounds like the intent is something like the history as a cohesive group (identification of their commonality and trends) rather than the other sections in "History", which are the histories of each individual chemical? If so, that's really the top-level "History" of the whole article-topic (which is the "concept" of the group, not just a container for the individuals). A general pattern I see here is that the top-level sections are just being used as containers for subsections, which is definitely not necessary--they can have actual content and then subsections focusing on certain aspects of it. DMacks (talk) 21:48, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
The section was originally titled "Concept of the alkali metals", but I removed "of the alkali metals" because of the peer review. I think feline1's format is better, though. Double sharp (talk) 08:00, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
I definately think some very valuable material could be added here - all too often, students are presented with the periodic table as a given, and don't get the message that empirical observations came first. One of chemistry's biggest pedagogic failings is making kids think the models came first and are set in stone, rather than just being handy ways to conceptualise and make sense of messy reality. --feline1 (talk) 11:53, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
Exactly! That's why there's all this ridiculous debate over which elements are in group 3. Döbereiner includes Li, Na and K as one of his triads. I'll add this to the article soon. (We still don't know who coined the term alkali metal, although one person at WP:RD/S speculates that it may have been Humphry Davy. Also, we don't know when Rb and Cs were recognised as belonging to the same group, although Fr was recognised to be in Group 1 at the moment of its discovery as it was recognised by noting that it coprecipitated with Cs salts.) Double sharp (talk) 13:16, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
Another even more ridiculous debate is over which elements should be classified as metalloids. There are good arguments for all the reasonable candidate metalloids; full details are at the metalloid article. Double sharp (talk) 13:19, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
If you want to group hydrogen under the concept of an alkali metal then you need to consider the hydrogen atom as being the deuterium atom. Then the grouping is that of elements that have just accumulated a deuteron which is the first half of an alpha particle that is being added to the nucleus.WFPM (talk) 12:27, 6 July 2012 (UTC)

R8R Gtrs comments[edit]

After first read[edit]

This is a good, faithful work. I don't quite think it is perfect, and it will take some time to make it perfect in my view, but I'd say, the job is way past the equator. If you keep up with your work, you'll get through it. Remember, most of all was already done.

Things seen without getting deep:

Watch out for WP:SANDWICH
[2]:28 It is a book style for ref formatting. In Wiki circles I'm aware of, a Harward-like system is the best one. Strongly suggest it (will make you less trouble for FAC) See fluorine for example.
This article has a noticeable problem of deeply explaining a thing and not explaining another. So it doesn't always screw you. Yet this happens sometimes. In general, the level of details is sometimes so high, so I'd recommend giving explanations for all situations (just getting you ready, examples to go later)
More about details: Do you think you really need four separate sections for reactions with different substances? (I'm OK with them, but make sure you'll have what to say at FAC.)
Radioactivity is a weird section. You could have a section called Isotopes or Nuclear stability or whatever, and discuss there more things like that all alkali metals are odd-Z, thus few stable isotopes, and such. Strong suggest it.
In the table, why two separate columns for mp (K) and mp (deg C)? It's quite confusing
I'd rather have first six (up to Fr) aside from 119 and 165. You made nice room for them, so just leave them in there. No need for them to appear anywhere else (such as in the article's first table)

More to come--R8R Gtrs (talk) 10:46, 12 October 2012 (UTC)


Note: Not everything here is worth any action. Just sharing my reader experience through the article. Some are only for you to know. Some ask for no action while you should use your judgment and see if it's needed. It may be. Also remember the possible style differences.

Also: I wrote this with no Internet available (made some screenshots in advance). There may be minor points I'd rather fix myself. Please be tolerant with that.

The whole first sentence is too informative. The reader's just making it to the start, and you put the info like a firemen's hose. Try splitting. This is a generally good advice (that took me some time to realize): Avoid long sentences when you can. Especially for the lead section.

Yes check.svg Done Double sharp (talk) 11:04, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

Also, this is an organizational question, but I think that you should list them before you say you can oxidize and cut them. It makes more sense for me in this way. Decide for yourself.

Yes check.svg Done Double sharp (talk) 11:04, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

You focus too strongly on the extensions in the lead. This is an interesting, but also quite a minor question compared to abundance and other stuff (165 shouldn't have a place here, I'm sure). You'd better say how rare francium is. Or that they're all only in salts (which, in fact, is a major fact here).

Yes check.svg Done Double sharp (talk) 11:08, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

You should also note the bio role in the lead. This is more important than extensions.

Yes check.svg Done Double sharp (talk) 11:29, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

Sodium lamps, very common -- really? Never seen one or heard of one. Isn't sodium more important as a bio ion for diets, drugs, like vitamin A? This makes me scratch my head. There are uses of sodium (a common man) I'm aware of, like those I mentioned -- why not trying them?

Electron configuration[note 3] --> Electron<br/>configuration[note 3] -- how about that?

Yes check.svg Done Double sharp (talk) 11:29, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

The para just under the table contains two (well done by themselves, but still) different thoughts. How about splitting?

Yes check.svg Done Double sharp (talk) 10:51, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

Color, mp, bp, density -- not really Chemical, huh?

Yes check.svg Done Double sharp (talk) 11:08, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

You say in the subsection twice(!) that LiF is not water-soluble, and don't say why. I wanna know already! Try limiting that to one time with a small note -- (see [[#(The subsection where the explanation is)|below).

Yes check.svg Done I put in the reason the second time this is mentioned. Double sharp (talk) 05:31, 11 November 2012 (UTC)

Alkalides are a major exception -- don't think so. They even can't be stable by themselves -- so how can you call them a major exception?

Yes check.svg Done Double sharp (talk) 10:51, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

H+Na- -- either explain how come this salt can be isolated or (only if it can't be) remove it. This one is cool. Give me a single sentence more (won't take much space).

Yes check.svg Done Double sharp (talk) 10:51, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

Li and Fr chem -- is the word "anomalous" really the best one? The differences are notable, but not an anomaly. Also, link the word "polarises"

Yes check.svg Done Double sharp (talk) 11:38, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

Li-Mg diagonal relationship -- cool, so what? That says nothing to me unless you develop your thought.

Yes check.svg Done Double sharp (talk) 10:51, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

Among the next four sections, you really need only the oxide one. You know, the halogen or hydroxide sections add nothing principally new to the picture. This one could be questioned at the FAC. I'd suggest this one: cut the hydroxide and halide info, contract (or partially move to notes) oxide info and leave as is but without the header, and create a small subsection for Li differences where you can also leave the nitride info also. Decide for yourself, but note the need.

I'm not so sure. The hydroxide section does allow the discussion of the reaction of the alkali metals with water, which is certainly a very well-known aspect of the alkali metals. And then I thought that if I was going to cover the hydroxides that way, I also might as well cover the other major ionic compounds. Double sharp (talk) 11:55, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
hmmm... This is a piece of info that is important only to schoolies. I was one. I did do this stuff. I was happy as hell after we could break in water some ampoules stolen from the school chem lab with a hammer. It was very unsafe-- just as unsafe as awesome. I'm happy that we didn't break anything and didn't hurt anyone back then. But this isn't important. The water--alkali metal is not such an important point-- it's just water's common, so that it was more illustrative. Not because of its properties. This is just a good illustration of a chemical law. Good image, and no more. Nobody really does this for a purpose other than that. The halogen stuff is exactly the same (except that this one, none does it for any purpose, water's easier to get anyway, they're only writing reactions), except that it utilizes a more science concept than a common concept. It's not that worthy.--R8R Gtrs (talk) 19:26, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
Went on a high with describing the pnictides and chalcogenides (and removed the equations). Still keeping halides in for completeness (there is an alkali halide article after all, so might as well just give a short overview). Water is in not so much for science (though the physics behind the explosion is described there too since the chemistry involved is not that interesting) but for the popular culture behind it (MIT Sodium Drop etc. etc. etc. which I should include but haven't yet). Double sharp (talk) 12:00, 24 June 2013 (UTC)

Physical info-- you have the data but no text. Try to help people read it. Write some text based on it, no more than that. Horizontally contract the table, also.

Do you have any ideas on what I could write here without straying into the content of the "Periodic trends" subsection? Double sharp (talk) 11:55, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
One would be that in the Periodic trends, you describe the trend itself and in Physical you describe why the density/mp/whatever is so low. Merger could also be a good idea: Remove the title Periodc trends, and just write in each subsection why the density/mp is so low. This wouldn't ruin the magic of the section at all. I even like this one more.--R8R Gtrs (talk) 19:26, 11 November 2012 (UTC)

You know about isotopes problems.

Yes check.svg Done Double sharp (talk) 15:33, 12 January 2013 (UTC)

The periodic trends subsection is cool. Real cool. There are small points of concern, but I have to admit it this one's just awesome.

Thanks! Double sharp (talk) 11:38, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

You give twice parenthesized notes (Trend's broken because of relativistic effects) and (Nuclear charge's neutralized by the shielding effect) with no explanations, just blue links. How about a couple sentences more for each?

Yes check.svg Done Added more information for the first one. The second one is already explained in the "Atomic and ionic radii" subsection. Double sharp (talk) 11:38, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

I'd also reverse the color schemes for radii and densities.

119 has too much properties in the table. More than in the main article or than even the stable elements in this article. You also make another sandwich by this. Are you sure you need the table? Also, how about adding this info into there? You can also copy it there, slightly cut in here, place a see also template above the subheader and be OK. This makes the most sense to me.

Yes check.svg Done I cut the table from this article. Double sharp (talk) 10:51, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

The ammonium cation could get more text. Also, there are alkali metal salts not soluble in water. An example I know is K2ThF6.

Well, that explains why it's remained as "citation needed" ever since it was copied from another article. Face-smile.svg Changed to "most" temporarily before I write more on this. Double sharp (talk) 11:43, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

Bunsen (Cs) -- the same one who invented the famous burner?

Yes. Double sharp (talk) 10:51, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

Also, rather than subsections, try the same without the headers and ordered chronologically. Add also some periodicity history stuff, like the Li-Na-K triad and a periodic table column.

119 -- focus on history and not properties (there's room above for that).

Occurrence is good, but I suggest changing the order to the reversed to abundance (Na-K-Li-Rb-Cs-Fr?) Para division is good.

Yes check.svg Done Double sharp (talk) 10:51, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

Application -- I suggest first telling the well-known or consumer applications, then the industrial or scientific. For example, the things about lithium that come to my mind are lithium ion batteries (is it possible to describe in short how they work?) and lithium drugs for mood stabilization (Nirvana even has a song honoring it... In their way.). The same goes for that fireworks should go before atomic clocks (which are cool, thus should stay, and I love the pic, but fireworks are a concept much easier to imagine.) Also, doesn't sodium also commonly "hold anions"?

O you have the lithium stuff here, neat! Still, while having a simple mention above (a see below note like much above is also possible), you talk about it here in detail. Again, any possibility to describe in short what lithium blocks/activates/whatever to get the effect

Please don't list th e potassium channels. They add nothing, but instead make me scratch the head again.

Yes check.svg Done Removed. Double sharp (talk) 10:51, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

Is it possible to have the quote translated into English? (Also, I can't even recognize the language... That would be really needed to be translated)

Google Translate recognizes it as Latin, translating it to "Moreover, our enemies being slain by the ancient Greeks, which is what has been said, as Nigidius says, as it were, from the color of the sky of heaven." But I'd prefer an official translation. Double sharp (talk) 15:06, 6 November 2012 (UTC)
Found at [2]: "Moreover, our earlier writers used caesia as the equivalent of the Greek γλαυκῶπις, as Nigidius says, from the colour of the sky, as if it were originally caelia." Double sharp (talk) 13:47, 3 June 2013 (UTC)

Summary: It's a golden nugget. There are some really really cool points, like premature sodium deaths or alkali metal extensions, and they build the neatpoint skeleton of what the reader will enjoy when reading this. The facts in the base of the article (periodic trends, etc., the things they came here for) are very important to be delivered right and, when possible, understandable, but these minor nice points is what makes them love your texts. They are sometimes also a cheaper way to make them love what you write (if you don't take too much and know the facts). They are your second wave and what makes a good article an outstanding one. And you got'em. Always have that in mind. That said, the required changes will not require much research (but some will be needed, sure) to make an awesome article, but there are important things yet to be done. Some time, some persistence, a copyedit (you'll need one, just to make sure at least), and you'll have a very decent article you should be proud of. I really love the article and sympathize it much, so of you have problems with it, write me, and I'll try to help (if I have time, of course). I want you to make it at the FAC, and it's your work... So just take your time to develop it. It'll be awesome.--R8R Gtrs (talk) 15:14, 5 November 2012 (UTC)

March 2013[edit]

Some first look quickies:

  • Experiments have been conducted to attempt the synthesis of ununennium (Uue), which is likely to be the next member of the group, but they have all met with failure as of 2012.[19] Okay in the main text, but let's simplify the lead?
    Yes check.svg Done Double sharp (talk) 04:41, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
  • History section:

5 History


5.1 Etymology

(empty: who & when gave the name? etc.)

5.2 Discovery

(You don't need this header and its subheaders, make it a single chronologized piece of text, then move to directly under the main History header. Will be 100 times better. Add then post-discovery stuff like or whatever good else happened. When were they put into atomic clocks? Caesium was the first element to be discovered spectroscopically-- then I'd add more about it, a para or two for that alone mb. Neat-os like after photoeffect was discovered, the production of cesium went on and on because cesium is useful there. Maybe it didn't happen, I'm writing some quickies, but look for it. See fluorine to understand that you don't need to be scared of details, even if here you don't have to dig that deep. I'd be happy to successfully complete such a task. Alkali metals sure have some some fun in history, like fluorine and the Teflon discovery.)

5.2.1 Lithium

5.2.2 Sodium

5.2.3 Potassium

5.2.4 Rubidium

5.2.5 Caesium

5.2.6 Francium

5.2.7 Eka-francium

(also, we don't need this last one at all, move it to Extensions, since it's not been proven 119 is an alkali metal. Even better, bring the Tl as alkali metal info here in details that you can find. This section is a treasure of the work needing to be done)--R8R Gtrs (talk) 19:29, 23 March 2013 (UTC)

  • Isotopes: too long, just look. Italics are my proposals


All the alkali metals have odd atomic numbers; hence, their isotopes must be either odd-odd (both proton and neutron number are odd) or odd-even (proton number is odd, but neutron number is even). Odd-odd nuclei have even mass numbers, while odd-even nuclei have odd mass numbers. Odd-odd primordial nuclides are rare because most odd-odd nuclei are highly unstable with respect to beta decay, because the decay products are even-even, and are therefore more strongly bound, due to nuclear pairing effects: out of the 254 stable or observationally stable nuclides, only five have both an odd number of protons and odd number of neutrons: hydrogen-2 (deuterium), lithium-6, boron-10, nitrogen-14, and tantalum-180m. The first four of these have low mass, for which changing a proton to a neutron or vice versa would lead to a very lopsided proton-neutron ratio; the last, tantalum-180m, is the only primordial nuclear isomer, which has not yet been observed to decay despite experimental attempts and theoretical predictions that it cannot truly be stable (its decay is greatly inhibited by its high spin).[61][62] Also, four long-lived radioactive odd-odd nuclides (potassium-40, vanadium-50, lanthanum-138, and lutetium-176) occur naturally.[62] (br missing) Due to the great rarity of odd-odd nuclei, almost all the primordial isotopes of the alkali metals are odd-even (the exceptions being the light stable isotope lithium-6 and the long-lived radioisotope potassium-40). For a given odd mass number, there can be only a single beta-stable nuclide, since there is not a difference in binding energy between even-odd and odd-even comparable to that between even-even and odd-odd, leaving other nuclides of the same mass number (isobars) free to beta decay toward the lowest-mass nuclide. An effect of the instability of an odd number of either type of nucleons is that odd-numbered elements, such as the alkali metals, tend to have fewer stable isotopes than even-numbered elements. Of the 26 monoisotopic elements that have only a single stable isotope, all but one have an odd atomic number — the single exception to both rules being beryllium. All of these elements also have an even number of neutrons, with the single exception again being beryllium. Write: (Beryllium is a falling-out-of-line exception due to its special position in the PSE.)[62] All of the alkali metals except lithium and caesium have at least one naturally occurring radioisotope: sodium-22 and sodium-24 are trace radioisotopes produced cosmogenically,[63] potassium-40 and rubidium-87 have very long half-lives and thus occur naturally,[64] and all isotopes of francium are radioactive.[64] Caesium was also thought to be radioactive in the early 20th century,[65][66] although it has no naturally occurring radioisotopes.[64] (Francium had not been discovered yet at that time.) The natural radioisotope of potassium, potassium-40, makes up about 0.012% of natural potassium,[67] and thus natural potassium is weakly radioactive. The Soviet scientist D. K. Dobroserdov observed this weak radioactivity in a sample of potassium in 1925 and incorrectly assumed that eka-caesium (currently known to be francium) was contaminating the sample.[68] He then claimed to have discovered eka-caesium and predicted its properties, naming it russium after his home country.[69] Shortly thereafter, Dobroserdov began to focus on his teaching career at the Polytechnic Institute of Odessa, and he did not pursue the element further.[68] This has become a basis for a mistaken claim of element 87 existence in 1925 (see below).

(pic): What accident? Can be described in 5 (not more) words? The description is, like, only below

Caesium-137, with a half-life of 30.17 years, is one of the two principal medium-lived fission products, along with strontium-90, which are responsible for most of the radioactivity of spent nuclear fuel after several years of cooling, up to several hundred years after use. It constitutes most of the radioactivity still left from the Chernobyl accident. 137Cs undergoes high energy (? add any adjective) beta decays to barium-137m (a short-lived nuclear isomer), which then decays to nonradioactive barium-137. It, and is a strong emitter of gamma radiation. 137Cs has a very low rate of neutron capture and cannot be feasibly disposed of in this way, but must be allowed to decay.[70] 137Cs has been used as a tracer in hydrologic studies, analogous to the use of 3H.[71] Small amounts of caesium-134 and caesium-137 were released into the environment during nearly all nuclear weapon tests and some nuclear accidents, most notably the Goiânia accident and the Chernobyl disaster. As of 2005, caesium-137 is the principal source of radiation in the zone of alienation around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Together with caesium-134, iodine-131, and strontium-90, caesium-137 was among the isotopes distributed by the reactor explosion which constitute the greatest risk to health. The improper handling of caesium-137 gamma ray sources can lead to release of this radioisotope and radiation injuries. Perhaps the best-known case is the Goiânia accident of 1987, in which an improperly-disposed-of radiation therapy system from an abandoned clinic in the city of Goiânia, Brazil, was scavenged from a junkyard, and the glowing caesium salt sold to curious, uneducated buyers. This led to four deaths and serious injuries from radiation exposure.[72] (Worth saying in history or precautions POSSIBLY, but not in here)

Overall looks still better than in late 2012.--R8R Gtrs (talk) 17:25, 18 March 2013 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Double sharp (talk) 04:40, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
  • I get the impression that the lead is too long. It tends to zoom in on individual elements, which is not essential to the group. -DePiep (talk) 17:15, 19 March 2013 (UTC)

juicy sources[edit]

main-block groups: 1, 2, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18. Double sharp (talk) 10:56, 24 June 2013 (UTC)

3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 (sorry, no f-block elements!) Double sharp (talk) 13:31, 24 June 2013 (UTC)
...and the notorious oddball, hydrogen. Double sharp (talk) 13:32, 24 June 2013 (UTC)
It also gives a few applications. Double sharp (talk) 06:34, 26 June 2013 (UTC)

Yes, give the subarticles a try[edit]

This could be a very nice solution. I never considered them really to be one before fluorine was all broken into them, but now I see they work.

This article is very interesting to read. Say, I enjoy reading articles that have notes like your note 1. It means the author cares about the subject. I would probably add to the note 19 a very short description of what an excited state is, but that's it.

There are two bad things about this article. First, it has a "entrance barrier." You need to be familiar with at very least the basics of chemistry. However, I admit you mostly deal well with it, you can't completely lower the barrier for such a topic, maybe some comments during a PR or a copyedit (if you get a good wondering copyeditor) will be required, but I don't think a massive company of dropping jargon and adding explanations should take place. Second, much of its length is because of explaining repeating basic things. The second one can certainly be fixed by the subarticles. For example, I wouldn't want to have a Reaction with elements subsection, limiting myself to a short description of basics here; but this can be stored there with no harm (those who wanna learn more, will check and proabably be happy about it; those who don't, won't and they'll be just fine as well). All peiodic trends can be described within one discussion, what you have seems like spelling out, which does lower the barrier (not really, but there's a difference between feelings of being told the same previously unknown for you thing a few times and one time) but also makes the article much longer. I would write right under the subheader:

This is an overview discussion; for a more detailed discussion, see Periodic trends and alkali metals

(Or whatever the title would be. Maybe it could be a part of a larger subarticle.)

The same should work for Extensions. This would be even better, as you would be improving a real article (ununennium) and not a sub one.

Re history, I still extremely advice doing it in chronological order (first they had the salt, then the revealing the fundamental difference of sodium and potassium salts in 1702, then petalite, isolation of Na and K, etc. The origin of the term "alkali metal" should also fix perfectly into the chronology). See also Greenwood on alkali metals. Why are you against this again?

Never got around to it, maybe? Was planning to do it your way in my next grand edit frenzy on it. Double sharp (talk) 08:22, 28 June 2013 (UTC)
I see. Sorry if I seemed too aggressive.--R8R Gtrs (talk) 13:54, 29 June 2013 (UTC)
On extensions, the content on 165 is slightly problematic, as there isn't a 165 article (nor should there be one just yet IMHO), but it doesn't fit in the 119 article as well as it does here...would not want to put in period articles as the predictions are mostly group similarity, not so much period. Double sharp (talk) 14:44, 9 July 2013 (UTC)

Also, as a random comment: Ammonium is expected to behave as a metal (NH+4 ions in a sea of electrons) at very high pressures, such as inside the ice giants Uranus and Neptune.[109][110] -- I thought the same is true even for helium, what's so surprising. Also, you don't mention you need some H2 for this to work.--R8R Gtrs (talk) 06:36, 27 June 2013 (UTC)

Because you don't need Jupiter/Saturn-core kind of pressure and temperature, you just need Uranus/Neptune-core kind of pressure and temperature, which is kinda impressively low! Double sharp (talk) 11:27, 5 August 2013 (UTC)

To do[edit]

  • First I had better finish writing the history section. It's not really my best point but will try to keep it AIAP (As Interesting As Possible).
  • All around the same time: PR3 (FAC goal), implementing final smaller points from PR1 and PR2, cleaning up last few sections (currently for some reason the beginning of the article is a whole lot better than the end)
  • collect FA star
  • ?
  • profit
  • work on halogen
  • actually help StringTheory11 at some point

Double sharp (talk) 07:32, 5 August 2013 (UTC)

History section has been written, based on chalcogen's. Double sharp (talk) 08:41, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

Main thing to note is low IP and large atomic radius being the chief reason for the group's characteristics. Double sharp (talk) 10:09, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

Mention lithium perchlorate. Double sharp (talk) 13:54, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Mention KNaCs alloy (eutectic mixture, K 57.5%, Na 28%, Cs 14.5%, m.p. 195 K). Double sharp (talk) 13:56, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Explain why K is less dense than Na! Double sharp (talk) 09:39, 14 August 2014 (UTC)

Axiosaurus quick comments[edit]

A few topics that should be added:

coordination numbers and where ionic radius ratio prediction works/fails
Doing some quick researching first to present this into an easily understandable way (I want the entrance barrier to be as low as possible, hence the large periodic trends section that mostly covers your first-year chemistry material.) Double sharp (talk) 19:52, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
solvation in aqueous solution
Yes check.svg Done Double sharp (talk) 18:33, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
electrode potentials and relation to reactivity
The way I want to incorporate this will require an expansion of the table and a restructuring of the initial sections of the article (there have been several in the past), so I don't think it can be done immediately; probably soon, though (expect it during this or the next week). Double sharp (talk) 19:52, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
Added text on electrode potentials. Double sharp (talk) 10:37, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
alkalides are formed from ammonia solution , inverse hydride contains complexed Na and complexed H+
Second point noted. First will be worked on. Double sharp (talk) 19:52, 13 August 2014 (UTC)

Axiosaurus (talk) 09:54, 11 August 2014 (UTC)

ps forgot fast ion conductors, solidi electrolytes, all relevant to lithium. Lithium best known these days in Li ion batteries
Yes, agreed; am currently still unsatisfied with the handling of the applications in the article, especially Li. Ullmann, here I come... Double sharp (talk) 19:55, 13 August 2014 (UTC)

Axiosaurus (talk) 10:02, 11 August 2014 (UTC)

Thank you for your comments! I'll do some reading and then add them. Double sharp (talk) 11:13, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
A quick look at aqueous- An article by Persson, "Hydrated metal ions in aqueous solution: How regular are their structures?" in Pure and Applied Chemistry, 82,10, 2010, doi 10.1351/PAC-CON-09-10-22 is probably the most up to date summary of aqueous ion coordination. The article was available complete as a pdf but with a quick look I coudn't find it. Persson notes that in aqueous solution coordination spheres of the larger alkali metals are greater than 6. Worth a read it contradicts a lot of older texts in some areas.Axiosaurus (talk) 14:17, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
This paper? I'll give it a read. Double sharp (talk) 14:53, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Yep thats it! Axiosaurus (talk) 15:39, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Another dive in! Overall the article has still some way to go- too much history more chemistry please! Anyway, the statement that thallium salts closely resemble alkali metal salts (reference to Crookes work to back this up seems a bit odd it is so old, surely a more rcent reference is available) is a bit of a stretch - yes "ionic radius" is similar. KCl (NaCl structure) CsCl (eight coordinate Cs) TlCl has the CsCl structure not the KCl structure which converts to TlI structure at low temps, TlCl is also quite insoluble in water. TlI has an unusual structure somtimes ascribed to the inert pair on Tl+. In aqueous solution the lone pair on Tl+ appears to be sterochemically active. Again stoichiometry is more the similarity rather than the chemistry. Another old (ish) reference is for metallic ammonium in gas planets, a speculation from the 70's, are there more recent papers? Axiosaurus (talk) 10:26, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
Written more about Tl. Oddly, I have not found more recent papers about metallic ammonium... Double sharp (talk) 11:35, 23 August 2014 (UTC)