Reactivity Lab

This lab will be peformed 15th of December 2009

The aim of this lab is to investigate and see how the different metal solids would react when put in acid.

Variables Table

The variable(s)
How will it change?
How will it be measured?
How will it be controlled
Independent Variable
The type of metal(Aluminum,copper,zinc,iron,magnesium)
We are going to change the different type of metals each, we are going to be using 5 metals.
Dependent Variable
The reaction of metal
We are going to observe to see what happens.
Controlled Variables held constant.
-The amount(25mg of solid, and 5ml of hydrochloric acid)
· The same person observing
· Always using the electric scale.
-We are going to make sure that each time we put a new metal in they will weigh the same.
· Kathrine will observe in order to make it a fair test
· Using the same scale will give us an accurate weight for each soild.

If the solids are added to the acid, then the solid with the least bonds will be the fastest to dissolve because the acid can easily break the bonds faster.

Equipments List:

· 25mg of solid metal (Iron,Aluminum,Copper,Magnesium,Zinc)
· 5ml of hydrochloric acid
· 6 test tube
· Test tube rack
· Beaker
· Pipette

1. Gather all equipments, and put on all the safety gear.
2. Set up area
3. Put 5ml of hydroclhoric acid into the test tube
4. Put 25mg of solid iron in the test tube with the acid in it already.
5. Observe, and record everything that is happening with a camera.
6. Write down observation
7. Repeat steps 2-6 except with the other metals.
*You can change the way you observe using any tool, camera, video camera, or just writing down observation on the spot.

To view the pictures of this experiment click here to watch a video on youtube.

Observation of the 5 different metals tested in hydro acid.


Bubbles coming out
Turning Rusty
Bubbles on nail


Bubbles on the bottom,
Not much is happening
(after 10min) bubbles on aluminum pieces


No bubbles
Nothing is happening


Turned white
Lots of bubbles


Bubbles on the solid

List of the most reactive to the least reactive(Proccesing data):
The most reactive

The most reactive metal was the magnesium, since it started to get hot, and there was a lot of bubbles. This is clearly indicated in the observation table.

1. Answer the aim with a sentence summarising your data. Be sure not to repeat or restate the data.
The metal solids in this experiment reacted differently when it was put into acid. Some of the metal solids were very different because some of the solids didn’t reacted at all while some reacted a lot. The observations in the observation table says that the magnesium was most reactive compared to other metal solids. Also the observations says that copper was the least reactive metal solid.

2. Do the results support the hypothesis?
Our hypothesis was ‘If the solids are added to the acid, then the solid with less bonds will be the fastest to dissolve because the acid can easily break the bonds faster.’ Our results support the hypothesis because magnesium has the least bonds compared to the other metal solids, Copper and Zinc has the most bonds and in the experiment, there was hardly and reactivity from copper and zinc. They were the least reactive because they were the ones which were the closest to the left. As an element gets closer to the left of the periodic table, they will be less reactive.

3. Explain the conclusion scientifically.
Magnesium was the most reactive during the experiment because on the periodic table, magnesium is the furthest away from the left, which is where it is least reactive. Copper and zinc were the least reactive because they were the closest to the left of the periodic table which was listed as the least reactive area of the table. Period - reactivity decreases as you go from left to right across a period. Group - reactivity increases as you go down a group” ( Mac OS X Server)

1. The data isn’t very reliable. Since the experiment was only done once, it might not have been so accurate.
The variables were kept in good control, the same amount of acid and solid was maintained so that each time there would have been the same amount. There was also pictures of the experiment and the reactions of each metal, by doing this we could have seen exactly what was going on. But the observation table mostly had qualitative observation and not too many quantitative observation.
2. The method is valid to collect the data because it clearly instructs how to do each step, by looking at the method you would clearly know how to do the experiment. The variables were all correct; we kept everything in the controlled area constant, and changed all the independent variables. Therefore the method is valid.

One main thing was that the metals became reactive at different times. For example the aluminum. Only after 10mins there were bubbles coming out of the solid pieces.
We could have kept the time in control. We should have somehow managed to allow each metal time to react, and not think that it was going to be like magnesium and react straightaway. A stop watch could have been useful.
We didn’t use balloons to see the reaction of the metals. While other groups used a balloon to see how reactive the metal was. We just observed.
Having a shorter time then the rest of the class did have its affect. Next time it would be best to try and find out a better and more comfortable time to do it.
We might have overweighd some of the metals. When we put the metal solids on the scale it looked as if they all weighed 25mg, but some might have weighed either more or less.
Next time we should have been more patient and left the solids on the scale for a while, just to get the absolute accurate results.

4. This was a fair test. Since we did change the metals each time, and we managed to keep everything controlled, by using the electric scale and making sure that each time we had the right amount.

Real Life Application:
1. Health and Social education, since we had to work with others in this lab, also we had to be aware of others around us. Since we were using acid, it would have been extremely dangerous if some of it went in our eyes, or touched our skin for too long, etc.

Another AOI that we would use in this lab would be environment since we would need to know what would happen if there was suddenly a spill somewhere in the mines. What would cause the most reaction and what would cause the least, so the miners would know when to be careful, and they might stop it before it destroys the whole mine.

2. This would be really useful when you are mining, as said earlier. When miners maybe accidently spill something they would know what could happen if they don’t react fast enough, like magnesium would begin to boil up and get very hot, while nothing happens to copper.

Work Cited:
Photograph. WP Designer. Web. 15 Dec. 2009.