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Why reactive metal form stable compound?

  1. Sep 4, 2007 #1
    can someone explain to me why reactive metals will form stable compounds with strong bonds? any help will be much appreciated
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 4, 2007 #2

    symbolipoint

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    You basically answered your own question; that the METAL, in its REDUCED form is REACTIVE, therefore unstable in the reduced form. The metal is much more stable as the ionized form, and therefore can combine into ionic compounds with anions. In other cases, the metal can be particularly oxidized to be part of an anion which can combine with another stable cation, often enough being another metal cation, relatively stable as that cation.
     
  4. Sep 4, 2007 #3

    symbolipoint

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    ...about the "strong bonds", not sure what to tell you. Metals usually form ionic bonds with anions. Covalent bonds are stronger(? not sure anymore) than Ionic bonds, but an expert in this area should give us clearer details about the strengths of ionic bonds compared to covalent bonds.
     
  5. Sep 5, 2007 #4
    A reactive metal is reactive because it has an electron in an unfavorable position on it.

    Take for example Sodium (Na) with a lone electron in its outer shell, it's reactive BECAUSE it has this lone electron, when it loses said electron it form a Noble gas configuration, with paired electrons and no obvious reason for it to lose or gain anymore electrons then it has with this configuration, this is why Sodium is extremely common to find in a cationic form, such as Na+ in table salt (NaCl) or Na+ in Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH). Also as a side voyage, the period that sodium resides in has all these reactive metals called "Alkali" metals because when they react with water they form Hydroxides, this is where the Sodium donates an electron to water and forms Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH) which is alkaline.

    As for Ionic bonds being stronger then covalent, this is purely dependant on which aspect your looking at in terms of strength, covalent bonds can be broken much easier with Electromagnetic sources (i.e. photons), this is why chlorine easily forms free radicals in UV light, an Ion however cannot easily be excited because the electron configurations mean its extremely difficult to excite an electron into a higher state. So in that perspective, ionic is much stronger then covalent, ionic compounds dissolve easily in water which is where the perspective that they are weak bonds come from, but the reson they break their lattice bonds so readily in favor of a water hydrated form is because the water forms an electrostatic bond with the ions such as the oxygen on water donating charge to sodium+ ions and the hydrogen being attracted to the negative charge of a Chlorine- ion.
     
  6. Sep 5, 2007 #5
    thx both of u who answered my qns :)
     
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