- Take a piece of alkali metal with tweezers.
- Cut it. Initially shiny metal surface quickly dims.
by Jon Dicks
by Этанол Спирт
Wear lab gloves and eye protection. Avoid contact of alkali metals with skin.
Always follow general safety recommendations. Please note that conducting chemistry experiments you must comply with the relevant legal procedures in your country.
4Me + O2 → 2Me2O
Alkali metals are very reactive. In contact with air the metal reacts with oxygen and forms an oxide. Thus oxide film is formed on the surface of the metal.
In the series from lithium to caesium the reactivity increases and the metal surface dims more quickly. Rubidium and caesium give sparks if you tap on them with a glass rod.