Observations of metal strips before reaction Cu: Copper colored, bright.

Mg: Dark grey with white spots and color irregularities. Zn: Silver colored, bright After exposure to HCl Cu: No change Mg: Bubble formation, much more than with the zinc, losing color, white clouds are being released, vapor coming out, strip is thinner Zn: Less abundant bubbling than in Mg, strip is also thinner, color is lighter.

Cu + 2HCl --- > NR No reaction occurs because HCl can only oxidize metals higher than H2 on the activity series. Cu is lower than H2 on the activity series, therefore, no reaction occurs because the HCl is not strong enough to oxidize very non reactive metals.

Zn + 2 HCl --> ZnCl2 + H2 Mg(s) + 2HCl(aq) = MgCl2 (aq) + H2(g)

In those two cases, a reaction occurs. In contrast with copper, Zinc and Magnesium both are more reactive than H thus, the Hydrogen ions of the HCl are able to oxidize the two metals. In other words, those two metals lose their electrons because the Hydrogen in the solution is strong enough to displace them. Moreover, Mg is more reactive than Zn, thus, a more apparent change occurs in the case of Mg.

Nitric acid experiment After a penny was dropped into a HNO3 solution, a dark red gas started to form, and a light blue liquid was left on the bottom of the flask. Ofter the penny was removed, the copper had completely disappeared, but the zinc pqrt of the penny was still intact, suggesting that Cu reacts with HNO3, but not zinc.

Cu(s) + 4HNO3 (aq) --> Cu(NO3 )2(aq) + 2NO2 (g) + 2H2 O(l) Copper reacts with Nitric acid because Nitric acid is more than just an acid, it is a very strong oxidizing agent. The products of the reaction are oxides of Nitrogen, and not Hydrogen. HNO3 is so strong that it can react and oxidize a quite nonreactive metal like copper.

In the case of Zinc, it should actually be reacting with the Nitric acid, but strangely, in the raction, it does not. Instead of : Zn + HNO3 ----> Zn(NO3 )2 + H2 We get : Zn + HNO3 ----> NR In the case of the penny experiment, a very special exception of zinc occurs, when Zinc is in contact with copper, as it is in pennies, a ³battery´ is produced, electrons flow from the Zinc to the Copper. Because those electrons move, the Zinc does not get oxidized by the Nitric acid, thus, no reaction occurs.

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