Group 1 metals such as potassium, sodium and lithium, react with water to produce a metal hydroxide and hydrogen. For example:
lithium + water → lithium hydroxide + hydrogen
2Li (s) + 2H₂O (l) → 2LiOH (aq) + H₂ (g)
The observations for the reaction of water with either potassium or sodium or lithium have the following similarities:
- fizzing (hydrogen is produced)
- metal floats and moves around on the water
- metal disappears
In each case a metal hydroxide solution is produced.
These similarities in the reactions provide evidence that the 3 metals are in the same group of the Periodic Table (i.e. have the same number of electrons in their outer shell).