I recieved a lab and the aim was to compare the reactions of metals in the reactivity series.the turnings of metal were place in HCL and the metals were placed in order of reaction according to the...

I recieved a lab and the aim was to compare the reactions of metals in the reactivity series.

the turnings of metal were place in HCL and the metals were placed in order of reaction according to the expirement but when compared to the reactivity series of metals the results varied. Why is this so?

1 Answer | Add Yours

bandmanjoe's profile pic

bandmanjoe | Middle School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted on

Sometimes our standard we are using differs to the standard provided in lab manuals and textbooks.   What we would call "very reactive" is not what the textbook calls very reactive at all.  The next thing I would suggest is to make sure the metals used were indeed the metals the instructor said they were.  When things don't perform as expected, we can usually backtrack through the experiment and find areas of suspicion that are likely culprits that caused the faulty result.  I remember a drug lab I had my students do one time, where they were using Daphnia, a water flea, and administering what they thought was alcohol, a depressant.  They all thought they would see a drop in heart rate, but much to their surprise, the heart rate accelerated, which indicated the drug was not a depressant, but a stimulant!  I had secretly substituted dilute Red Bull, which is loaded with caffeine, to see if they would actually record what happened, then theorize why the experiment did not materialize the results we thought would happen.

Sources:

We’ve answered 318,955 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question