Bring the alkali metals to life with these dramatic demonstrations

A series of short, fun videos exploring the chemistry of the alkali metals, taken from a lecture by Dr. Peter Wothers at the University of Cambridge.

The Alkali Metals: 01 - Introduction to the periodic table

An introduction to the periodic table and in particular the elements in group 1.

The Alkali Metals: 02 - Electronic structure of the Group 1 metals

Explaining what all the group 1 metals have in common - the single electron in their outer electron shell.

The Alkali Metals: 03 - Francium

Introducing the biggest and least stable element in Group 1 - radioactive Francium.

The Alkali Metals: 04 - Coloured Light from Electronic Transitions

Find out why different lamps give off different colours of light.

The Alkali Metals: 05 - Trapping the Electron from Sodium

The excited electron from Sodium is trapped in an ammonia solution and turns it blue.

The Alkali Metals: 06 - The appearance of the Group 1 metals

See what the Group 1 metals look like at room temperature

The Alkali Metals: 07 - Alloys of group 1 elements

What happens when you mix together the group 1 elements?

The Alkali Metals: 08 - Group 1 hydrides

Watch the reaction of sodium hydride and water - a way of generating hydrogen gas!

The Alkali Metals: 09 - Reaction of hydrogen with the air

Discover why there's no hydrogen in the air

The Alkali Metals: 10 - Reactions of lithium with the air

What happens when lithium metal comes into contact with the air?

The Alkali Metals: 11 - Lithium Nitride

Exploring the uses of lithium nitride - the product that forms when lithium reacts with nitrogen in the air.

The Alkali Metals: 12 - Reaction of lithium with glass

Lithium reacts with glass in a violent reaction!