Reactivity Lab

Aim: The aim is to find out which of the five metals; aluminum, magnesium, zinc, iron and copper are the most reactive towards hydrochloric acid.


Types of metals
Aluminum, Magnesium, zinc, copper, iron
The reactivity
Temperature, amount of energy being released
  1. Amount of metals
  2. Amount of acid
  3. Size of test tubes
  1. Will be measured (0.5 grams) with scale.
  2. Estimated by comparing in test tubes
  3. Will be checked.

If we put 5 metals in a hydrochloric acid, then copper would react the most, then either zinc or iron, then aluminum, and then magnesium, because coppers ion formula is Cu7-, which is the highest number, and therefore since it needs the most electrons, it is the one most likely to react a lot.

Magnesium 0.5 grams (powder)
Copper 0.5 grams (powder)
Iron 0.5 grams (powder)
Aluminum 0.5 grams (powder)
Zinc 0.5 grams (powder)
2. Hydrochloric acid
3. Test tubes (5)
4. Test tube rack
5. Petri dishes (5)
6. Scale
8. Thermometer

1. Gather all material and put on a pair of goggles and your lab coat.
2. Label each test tube with the name of each metal so that they dont get mixed up, then fill them all with the same amount of hudrochloric acid.
3. Take some magnesium powder using a spatula, then put it on the petri dish and weight it on the scale until you get 0.5 grams.
4. Put the powder in the test tube with the hydrochloric acid, then, record any observations in your observation table. You may also video/take pictures with a camera to later on make more accurate observation notes.
5. Take the temperature of the hydrochloric acid with the metal inside, and record it in your observation table.
6. Repeat step 1-5 with all five metals.

Diagram of apparatus:
Observation of five metals mixed with a hydrochloric acid.

Qualitive observations
Quantitative observations (temperature)
No bubbles.
Sinks to bottom, in clumps
some stays at surface.
22 C
Small amount of bubbles,
Zinc lying on bottom.
24 C
Small/many bubbles
Iron powder sinks to bottom.
23 C
Piled up above Hydrochloric acid.
No bubbles.
23 C
A lot of bubbles stuck on sides,
magnesium powder sinks to bottom.
26 C

Aim: Magnesium was the most reactive out of all of the metals because it had the most bubbles and it had the highest temperature.
1. Magnesium
2. Zinc
3. Iron or aluminum
4. Copper

2. No because are hypothesis stated that copper would be the most reactive because coppers ion formula is Cu7-, which is the highest number, and therefore since it needs the most electrons, it is the one most likely to react a lot. Unfortunately we were wrong and Magnesium was the most reactive

3. This table shows that Magnesium is more reactive then iron zinc and copper unfortunately aluminum is not there so we don’t know whether that is more reactive then any of them.
4.Overall Magnesium is the most reactive metal out of all of them because it was full of bubbles and had the highest temperature. Unfortunately are hypothesis was not corrected. We answered the aim and rated the metals from 1 to 5 which one was the most reactive. I think are experiment was good because our results match scientific theories.


"The Reactivity or Electrochemical Series." Richard Bowles' Home Page. Web. 17 Dec. 2009. <>.

1. I think that the data is pretty reliable. Even though this wasn’t a totally fair test, I still don’t think that it affected the amount of bubbles, or the temperature, which was what mattered in this experiment.
2. I don’t think our method was very good, because as we were doing the experiment, there were a lot of flaws, and so we had to change a lot of things. We hadn't mentioned that we needed funnels to pour the powder into the test tubes, and so when we did this, we used the same one for each. The powder got clogged up in the funnel, and so it all got really mixed, and so we had to redo the experiment, with five different funnels.

3. Weakness and improvements table:
The funnel kept on getting clogged, and so a lot of the metals were mixed.
Have five different funnels for each one so that they do not mix.
When the solids were put in the petri dish, they got stuck to the bottom of it, so the amount of solids could have changed.
We could use a spatula to scrape all the metals off the petri dishes, so that you get the amount you were meant to use.

4. I don’t think that this was a fair test, because we had a lot of flaws in our method. We forgot some things which would be needed, probably because we are not used to making our own experiments. However, I think that it wasn’t too bad, because we still got the right result (we realized our hypothesis was wrong)

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