The reactivity series of metals

The reactivity series of metals lists metals in order of decreasing reactivity. In general, the more reactive a metal is, the more vigorous its reactions are. The reactivity series can be used to make predictions about how fast a metal reacts or whether it will displace another metal from a compound.

The table summarises some reactions of metals in the reactivity series. Hydrogen is shown for comparison.

Table showing the reactivity series of metals, from least to most reactive

Platinum is placed below gold in the reactivity series. Predict its reaction with dilute acids and explain your answer.

Platinum will not react with dilute acids. Metals below hydrogen in the reactivity series do not react with dilute acids, and both gold and platinum are placed below hydrogen.

Explaining reactivity

When metals react with non-metals , they form ionic compounds. Each metal atom loses one or more electrons to become a cation. The more easily a metal loses electrons, the more reactive it is.