Explore more dramatic reactions

The second part of 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. For an introduction to the group and their electron configurations, see part one.

The Alkali Metals: 13 - Compounds of sodium and nitrogen  - Sodium Azide

Breaking down sodium azide into sodium and nitrogen - the reaction that makes an airbag work!

The Alkali Metals: 14 - Reaction of sodium with the air

Watch how sodium tarnishes as it comes into contact with air

The Alkali Metals: 15 - Compounds of sodium and oxygen

Using sodium peroxide to provide oxygen to burn some cereal!

The Alkali Metals: 16 - Reaction of potassium with the air

Potassium metal reacts more easily with air than sodium and lithium

The Alkali Metals: 17 - Compounds of potassium and oxygen

Potassium forms oxides, peroxides and superoxides when it reacts with oxygen.

The Alkali Metals: 18 - Reaction of potassium superoxide with lithium

The release of oxygen causes a violent reaction between potassium superoxide and lithium

The Alkali Metals: 19 - Reactions of rubidium and caesium with the air

Watch the two largest alkali metals react with the air

The Alkali Metals: 21 - Occurence of the Alkali Metals in nature

What would it be like if the sea contained caesium chloride, rather than sodium chloride?

The Alkali Metals: 22 - Reaction of sodium and chlorine

Dramatic reaction of sodium and chlorine, forming salt!

The Alkali Metals: 23 - Reaction of potassium and iodine

Explosive reaction of potassium and iodine to form another salt, potassium iodide.

The Alkali Metals: 24 - Compounds in medicines and batteries

How are the alkali metals used in everyday life?

The Alkali Metals: 25 - Reaction of sodium and sulphur

Dramatic demonstration of how energy can be released from sodium

The Alkali Metals: 26 - Summary and Finale

Using what we know about the akali metals to create a pretty big bang!