Aim: The aim here is to find out between zinc, copper, aluminum, silver and iron. Which one is the most reactive when put in to hydrochloric acid?

ariable Table:

Independent Variable
Different type of Metal Powders
Change between different type of powder for testing
Dependent Variable
Which one is the most reactive
Controlled/ Constant Variable
· The test tube
· The person who run the test
· Use the same test tube for different test
· Only one person will be running all the tests
If we experiment with all 5 metals in the hydrochloric acid then the metal zinc will cause the biggest reaction because it has more electrons in it than the other metals, therefore it can gain and lose more.

Equipment & Materials:

Magnesium (0.5 grams)


Aluminum (0.5 grams)


Iron (0.5 grams)


Copper (0.5 grams)

Zinc (0.5 grams)


5 Balloons
· 25ml of Hydrochloric acid
· 5 Test tube
· 1 Electronic scale
· 1 Stop watch
· 10 Petri dishes
· 1 Pipette
· 1 Graduated Cylinder
· 1 Beaker


1. Gather all equipment needed according to the equipment list.
2. Measure 0.5 grams of zinc, on the electronic scale.
3. Put the zinc that was measured into a test tube.
4. Measure 5ml of hydrochloric acid in the graduated cylinder with a pipette.
5. Add 5ml of hydrochloric acid that was measure into the same test tube.
6. Put a balloon on the mouth of the test tube.
7. Observe what happens with eye for 10 minutes.
8. Take pictures of what is observed.
9. Write the qualitative observations down in the observations table.
10. Repeat step 2 to step 5 for the other 4 metals.
11. Make sure you label your test tubes and the Petri dishes to differentiate between the metals.

Observation Table: Qualitative observations of what happens when hydrochloric acid is mixed with each one of the 5 metals.
5 Metals
Qualitative Observations
- Big bubbles are visible.
- Bubbles sticking against test tube.
- Bubbles are small in size.
- After the 7th minute the pace starts picking up.
- More bubbles are seen.
- Now there are both small bubbles and big bubbles.
- More reaction.
- The balloon stays deflated after the 10th minute.

- In first few minutes, copper does not seem to react.
- Most of the powder sinks to the bottom.
- However, some stays afloat on the top of the acid.
- After some time, one or two bubbles are visible near the top of the solution.
- There’s nothing floating around in between the solution, it either sinks or stays afloat.
- The balloon stays deflated after the 10th minute.

- There are a lot of bubbles in the solution.
- The solution is almost completely white with a hint of transparent.
- The test tube feels really warm.
- The balloon inflates a little.
- After a while, around the 8th minute, the powder sinks to the bottom.
- Its reaction lessens.
- The solution then becomes less white as there are fewer bubbles.

- Most of its particles stay afloat.
- However some floats around in the solution.
- Little particles are at the bottom of the test tube.
- The particles do not stay still.
- The balloon stays deflated after the 10th minute.
- After the balloon was taken off a lot of bubbles starting rising. This shows that aluminum takes the most time to react.

- There are many little bubbles in the solution.
- It looks somewhat like a fizzy soft drink.
- The color of the solution is a little bit white.
- In the whole 10 minutes its reaction keeps about the same pace.
- The balloon stays deflated after the 10th minute.

Diagram: Diagram of How The Experiment should look like


1. Answer the aim:
When all 0.5grams of 5 metals were put in 5ml of hydrochloric acid individually, the metal magnesium seemed to react, the most. After magnesium are zinc, iron, copper, and then aluminum, in order from most reactant to least reactant.

2. Do the results support the hypothesis:
The result does not support the hypothesis as zinc was not the most reactant, but instead the second, next to magnesium. The prediction was that zinc would have the biggest reaction because it has the most electrons; therefore the outer electrons are furthest away from the nucleus where the protons are. This means that the attraction between the electrons and protons aren’t as strong, therefore it allows it to leave easily, mixing and reacting with other atoms of other elements that are nearby. The reactivity of the elements.
The magnesium however did not have the most electrons, this caused confusion. Finally it was decided that magnesium caused the biggest reaction because it is closest to the noble gases, which is group 8, on the periodic table. "The elements closest to the noble gases are so close to becoming a noble gas they can taste it."(The Reactivity Of The Elements) Because magnesium is so close to being an octat, it reacts easier than other metals that are further away, as it wants to become a full octat.

3. According GCSESCIENCE, the most reactive metal out of the 5 metals in this experiment is, magnesium, followed by aluminum, zinc, then iron, and ending with copper. According to the results, the most reactive metal out of the 5 metals in this experiment is, magnesium, followed by zinc, then copper and ending with aluminum. Because the results do not match the published data, this might mean that the experiment might not be reliable leading to the wrong data.

4. In conclusion, the element that will make the biggest reaction is the element closest to the noble gases, as it's so close to becoming an octat it will react much faster. How far the element is apart from the noble gases depends on the absolute value of the ions they make. In this case, magnesium is the most reactant as it is the closest to the noble gases, it is willing to react and lose its 2+ ions to become a full octact.


1. The data is somehow reliable because we didn’t put all the elements in at the same time so some of the elements react first and some react slower. So the data is somehow reliable. Since the elements still react and give the results that were expected.

2. Our method is pretty valid since we did show our steps clearly. The amount of powders, hydrochloric acid and what tools to use where listed in the method. The method tells people what to do at each step on after another. The method could use a little bit more details. But the result wasn’t what we expected. One of the thing that make the data not really reliable is that the all the elements weren't put into the test tubes at the same time. So it would affect the result because some elements react first.

We didn’t put all the element into the test tube at the same time
We could as people to give us a hand and put all the element in together
We should have take a picture as evidence right after we put the element into the test tube instead of taking picture at the end
One person should hold the camera and wait. The other person would put the element in to acid
We should have put the balloon on top of the test tube right away after putting some element in to the acid
One person should be ready with the balloon instead of each person doing one test tube because then we couldn’t put the balloon over the test tube’s mouth right away

4. This is a fair test because we had tried our best to control most of the Variable that were given and that we could think of. Except for some small mistake which might affect the result a little bit, some of the thing weren't abe to be control because it was out of hand. But most of the basic and possible variables wre controlled.

Work Cited:

"Molecule Gallery - Alkenes." Angelo State University. Web. 17 Dec. 2009.

"Tourmaline Powder Manufacturer, Exporter and Developer." Living, Clean, Mineral Water and Air, China Manufacturer, Exporter & Developer. Web. 17 Dec. 2009.

The Reactivity Of The Elements. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Dec. 2009.

The Reactivity Series Of Metals Is As Follow. GCSESCIENCE. N.p., n.d. Web. 17
Dec. 2009. <
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