# Can someone explain the unintuitive ordering in the metallic activity series?

I would understand it if the metallic activity series Li, Cs, Rb, ... Pt, Au corresponded to electronegativity or ionization energy. However, the way it is written, lithium will displace caesium, while caesium will displace rubidium (it goes from the top of family 1 to the bottom and then up again).

This order seems so random. Is there any order to it or is it just determined experimentally through trial and error? In addition, wouldn't different valences on the metals affect their placement in the series?

• There is an order but not all metals obey that order. We need to experimentally verify the theoretical order. Of course, the electronegativity and ionization energy are closely related to the order. The higher the tendency of the metal to get oxidised, the more reactive it will be and hence a more active metal. The ability to get easily oxidised depends on the factors you mentioned. Jun 19, 2016 at 8:40