The alkali metals (group 1) have very similar properties: they are all shiny, soft, highly reactive metals at standard temperature and pressure and readily lose their outermost electron to form cations with charge +1. The alkaline earth metals are all shiny, silvery-white, somewhat reactive metals at standard temperature and pressure.

The alkali metals are a group (column) in the periodic table consisting of the chemical elements lithium (Li), sodium (Na), potassium (K), rubidium (Rb), caesium (Cs), and francium (Fr).

The alkaline earth metals are six chemical elements in column (group) 2 of the Periodic table. They are beryllium (Be), magnesium (Mg), calcium (Ca), strontium (Sr), barium (Ba), and radium (Ra).

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