LABScientific Investigations : Some Metals are More Reactive than Others

Aim: The aim of this experiment is to find out which of the five metals (iron, aluminum, copper, magnesium, and zinc) are least reactive and which are most reactive

If... we test which metal is most reactive out of the 5 metals (iron, aluminum, copper, magnesium, and zinc)
Then… Magnesium will be the most reactive,
Because… It has a smaller amount of electrons and this makes it easier for magnesium to bond with other elements.

Variables table:





The metal

Moving the metal and switching it with another.(Aron, Magnesium, Zinc, Copper, and Aluminium)

Dependent (what we measure)

The reactivity of the metals

By placing the metals in hydrochloric acid and then time how long it takes to have a chemical reaction

Controls/Constants (keep same)

The amount of the metal

The ways that the metals will be tested

The amount of hydrochloric acid

The amount will be weighed

Make sure all of the metals are experimented on by same steps for each metal

The amount will be measured in the test tube

- Test tubes
- All 5 metals (Iron, Aluminum, Zinc, Copper and Magnesium)
- A stopwatch
- 5 balloons
- Hydrochloric acid
- Safety Equipment

1. Set up the first experiment. Pour 5ml
hydrochloric acid in a test tube and get 0.6g of Copper (first experiment) to put into the acid.
2. Place 0.6g of copper into the hydrochloric acid and quickly put the balloon over the test tube. Start timing as soon as the copper is applied to the acid.
3. With your stopwatch, time the amount of time it takes for a chemical reaction to take place in the solution. Also look at what happens to the balloon.
4. Observe what is happening and record in your observations table.
5. Repeat step 1-4 again for the other 4 metals (Iron, Magnesium, Zinc and Aluminum).

Diagram of apparatus:


Observation table:




26 sec: some of the copper has bunched up at the bottom and other bits are floating at the top of the acid it appears to be dissolving slowly, the balloon has no inflation
122sec: no change

From the time that we had to observe the copper in the hydrochloric acid the copper had no chemical reaction. There might have been a chemical reaction is we left it for a longer period of time but from our observations there were none in the time we were given.


10sec: there are a lot of bubbles and the magnesium is dissolving very fast. The balloon is inflating and a lot of energy is being excreted because it is hot
30: the bubbles are heavily rapidly coming out of the Magnesium and they are white most likely some kind of separated gas from the acid or some other kind of chemical reaction like them bonding together and making a new gas. the same affects as earlier slowly dissolving

This was the most reactive of the metals and when it was placed into the acid it had an instant reaction and the Magnesium started to degrade away. The bubbles that were emerging from the liquid which are most likely hydrogen from the bonds of the hydrochloric acid. This then rose to the balloon and inflated it. The reaction was dispersing a lot of energy and the bottom of the test tube was hot.


01:Bubbling a lot and the is balloon inflating but not as much as the magnesium and a little hot dissolving fast white bubbles emerging from the substance rapidly
20: the liquid is rising with the same affects as earlier but intensified.

The iron had a big chemical reaction as well, it also appeared to have some of the same effects as the magnesium. The hydrogen bubbles were more thick than the magnesium al though.


01:The acid is clouded by the zinc the zinc is rising to the top slowly there are small many small bubbles
1:14 half are at the top and the other at the bottom the acid id clearer and the zinc is in small bunches
1:45 there are bigger bubbles and the other affects are the same

The Zinc had a small chemical reaction but was hard to see at first because the powder clouded the test tube. But then after time there were bubbles that emerged from the Zinc and they began so become more frequent. It seemed that it started to break down because the power sank and then the bundles of it seemed degraded. This was a relatively small chemical reaction but it could have been more accurate of why had the right tooles


01:It floats and seems to not move into the acid but there are very small bubbles in the acid the balloon is not inflating

The Aluminum seemed to stick to the sides of the test tube and only a little bit entered the acid with a very small amount of bubbles. The tube might have been wet before the metal went inside it and the power got stuck so we could not see the full affects of this experiment.

We found out that out of all the five metals (iron, aluminum, copper, magnesium, and zinc), magnesium is the most reactive. We found this because when we carried out our experiments, magnesium reacted the most because the balloon blew up and we observed many different reactions. Our results also supported the hypothesis because in our hypothesis we state that magnesium would be most reactive and in the experiments that we carried out, we found out that magnesium

In our experiment, we found out that out of all the five metals (iron, aluminum, copper, magnesium and zinc) magnesium is the most reactive. We found this because when we carried out our experiment the magnesium reacted the most. The magnesium reacted by bubbling a lot, getting hot and the balloon blew up very much and very fast. The magnesium was also very fast to react. This means that our results support our hypothesis, since we said that the magnesium was most reactive and in the experiments we carried out, we found out that magnesium was the most reactive, just as we predicted. This part of the hypothesis was right but I did some research and I found that magnesium is not most reactive because of the reason we stated in our hypothesis. I researched and found some information. When a metal bonds with non metal, which in this case would be the hydrochloric acid, it can lose electrons. Magnesium has only 2 valence electrons so it is easier for electrons to be removed from magnesium than from any of the other metals because they have more valence electrons. “All these metals have one electron in the valence electrons' shell; this electron can be removed relatively easily, which means that this electron has a very small ionization energy”
("Experiment 3 - The periodic"). So that part of the hypothesis wasn’t right but the prediction itself was. It is just the explanation that we got wrong.


The reliability of the information posted in this experiment is mostly reliable. I say mostly because some of the substances were mixed up during the tests and we may have thought on element to be another. Also 2 of the experiments were not as “fair” as possible, the Aluminum test and the Magnesium test. The Aluminum test did not seem like it was reacting as planned, the Aluminum stuck to the sides of the test tube. This could have been because the equipment was wet, or that it was hard to administer it because there was so much and got caught in the paper. Both these occurrences seemed to have crippled the experiment unless that’s was occurs normally. The problem when the Magnesium was that it was hard to administer for the pieces were too big so they had to be spaced in the acid by hand and this method was slow and harder to place it all at once. This could affect the turnout of the experiment but this isn’t relevant for what we want to measure. As explained earlier the data is mostly reliable.
The method used in this experiment fairly valid for the basic steps of the test; however some things were not explained that one would have to improvise or assume to complete all of the tests accordingly. For example the method did not explain how to organize or assemble the test before actually performing it; so for my group we compared it to previous experiments and improvised ways of administering the metal.

"the gas emurging out of the aicd is most likly Hidrogen".(wood)
the gas comming off of the metal is Hidrogen because it might be seperating from the acids formula
"Hydrochloric acid is the solution of hydrogen chloride (HCl) in water"


Not all of the metals that were tested in the experiment were powdered and this could affect the outcome

Make a Magnesium powder or make the other metals into some kind of solid that is near the same mass as each other.

The amounts of the metals were delayed and some of the substance got caught inside the paper tube

Make all of the power enter the acid in the same time with the correct amount

There were many things that made this experiment a fair test, we did this to the best of our ability with the equipment that we had access to. One of the most crucial of things was the measurement of the hydrochloric acid and this was measured evenly between the test tubes. The same weight of the metal each experiment but in this case the actual overall mass of the powder together would make it more of a fair test. This test was not entirely fair in many cases but the majority seems to be done as fair as possible.

Real life applications:

Human ingenuity
This experiment is an example of human ingenuity because to even make and break down the substances for the experiment would need development and thought. We would test things like this to find how durable or strong the bonds are in different substances in different states of matter.

This experiment is related to the environment because many of the things that we use in science experiments are made naturally from nature. The metals used in this experiment were made naturally in the environment and humans took advantage of it because it was so rich and plentiful.

Works Cited:

"Experiment 3 - The periodic table - Experiments with Metals and Ions of Metals." chemistry scripts.
N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Dec. 2009. <****

"Hydrochloric Acid (Hydrogen Chloride)." US EPA. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Dec. 2009.