Alkaline Earth Metals

By Holly Johnston

What are alkaline earth metals?

Alkaline earth metals are the second group (column) in the periodic table. They are found on the left of the periodic table. They have two valence electrons. These metals are less metallic than those of group 1, and they are very reactive.

The alkaline earth metals include : Beryllium, magnesium, calcium, strontium, barium, and radium.

What kind of properties do you think the alkaline earth metals have?

The alkaline earth metals are very shiny, they are silvery in color, they have very low densities and melting points, and share their electrons commonly. They are also less reactive than the alkali metals. Watch the video below to find out more information about the alkaline earth metals.
Group 2 - Alkaline Earth metals | Chemistry for All | The Fuse School

What are some uses for the alkaline earth metals?

  • Beryllium can be used for the making of alloys, and in X-ray tubes. Beryllium is very toxic to humans and can even cause death.
  • Magnesium can be used to make airplanes and car engines.
  • Calcium is needed in developing bones and teeth. It is also needed to maintain a proper heartbeat. Calcium is also used in many building materials, cosmetics, and food.
  • Strontium and barium are often used in fireworks. Barium can be used in the medical field, and strontium is used in glass and refining beet sugar.
  • Radium was previously used in the medical field and numbers on watches, but both were stopped because of health problems.

Want to learn more about the alkaline earth metals? Read below to find out more!

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Where are they found?

  • Beryllium can be found in some gemstones, Earth's crust, and igneous rocks. It is usually found in the United States and Russia.
  • Magnesium is found in some natural minerals and seawater.
  • Calcium is in your bones and teeth, and in the crust of Earth. It can also be found in shells of underwater creatures.
  • Strontium can be found in two minerals. They are strontiatnite and celestite.
  • Barium is found in soil, and foods such as nuts, fish, seaweed, and other plants. It is also in the air sometimes.
  • Radium cane be found in some parts of Canada near the Great Bear Lakes and in some regions near Zaire, Africa.