• Answer:-

    Reactivity of Elements: Sodium, Nickel, Carbon, and Oxygen

    The reactivity of elements plays a crucial role in understanding their chemical behavior and interactions. In this context, the question arises as to which element among sodium, nickel, carbon, and oxygen is the most reactive. To determine the answer, we will explore the properties and characteristics of each element, focusing on their reactivity and chemical reactivity trends.

    Reactivity of Sodium:

    Sodium is a highly reactive alkali metal belonging to Group 1 (IA) of the periodic table. It possesses a single valence electron in its outermost shell, making it prone to losing this electron and forming a positively charged ion. Sodium readily reacts with water, releasing hydrogen gas and forming sodium hydroxide. This reaction is highly exothermic and produces a vigorous effervescence of hydrogen gas.

    Reactivity of Nickel:

    Nickel is a transition metal located in Group 10 (VIII B) of the periodic table. Transition metals typically have multiple oxidation states and exhibit variable reactivity depending on the specific reaction conditions. Nickel itself is not as reactive as sodium or other alkali metals. It does not react readily with water or oxygen at room temperature. However, it can react with acids, such as hydrochloric acid, to form nickel chloride and release hydrogen gas.

    Reactivity of Carbon:

    Carbon is a nonmetallic element found in Group 14 (IVA) of the periodic table. It is known for its diverse allotropes, including diamond, graphite, and fullerenes. In terms of reactivity, carbon itself is relatively unreactive under normal conditions. However, it can form compounds with other elements, such as oxygen, hydrogen, and nitrogen, through covalent bonding. Carbon compounds, especially organic compounds, play a vital role in various chemical reactions and biological processes.

    Reactivity of Oxygen:

    Oxygen is a highly reactive nonmetal and a member of Group 16 (VIA) of the periodic table. It readily combines with other elements, often forming oxides. Oxygen gas, O?, is essential for supporting combustion, making it a strong oxidizing agent. It reacts with many metals, nonmetals, and organic compounds, participating in oxidation-reduction reactions. However, oxygen is not as reactive as alkali metals like sodium.


    Among the elements discussed, sodium is the most reactive, followed by oxygen, while nickel and carbon exhibit relatively lower reactivity. Sodium's reactivity stems from its low ionization energy and the ease with which it donates its single valence electron. Oxygen, although highly reactive, does not possess the same level of reactivity as sodium, especially with respect to the alkali metals' vigorous reactions with water.

    Nickel, as a transition metal, exhibits a lower reactivity compared to sodium and oxygen. While it can react with certain substances, such as acids, its overall reactivity is moderate in comparison. Carbon, on the other hand, is relatively unreactive in its pure form, but it forms a wide range of compounds with other elements, making it versatile in various chemical reactions.

    Understanding the reactivity of elements is essential for predicting their behavior in chemical reactions and understanding their role in various natural and industrial processes. By comparing the reactivity of sodium, nickel, carbon, and oxygen, we gain insights into their chemical properties and their tendency to undergo chemical transformations.

Apr 21 2024

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