The Alkaline Earth Metals

The elements of the main group 2 of the periodic table are called the alkaline earth metals. The constituents of the group are Beryllium (Be), Magnesium (Mg), Calcium (Ca), Strontium (Sr), Barium (Ba) and Radium (Ra). Common for the elements of this group is that they are metals in their pure form, with low densities and low melting and boiling points. They all react with halides (F, Cl, Br, I) to form metal halides. Since the number of valence electrons of the alkaline earth metals is 2, the general formula of the formed metal halides is MX2, where M is the metal and X is the halide.
All of the alkaline earth metals occur naturally, although Radon only occurs as a decay product from Uranium or Thorium, and is highly radioactive. Magnesium and Calcium are both among the top-8 most abundant elements on the earth’s surface.