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Compare the alkali metals and alkaline earth metals with respect to 

(i) ionization enthalpy 

(ii) basicity of oxides and 

(iii) solubility of hydroxides

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(i) Ionization enthalpy (I E): I E of alkaline earth metals are higher than those of alkali metals of group 1. This is because the atoms of alkaline earth metals have smaller size (due to higher nuclear charge) as compared to the alkali metals. 

(ii) Basicity of oxides: The oxides of alkali and alkaline earth metals dissolve in water to form their respective hydroxides. These hydroxides are strong bases. The hydroxides of alkaline earth metals are less basic than of alkali metals of the corresponding periods. This is due to their 

(a) high ionization enthalpy 

(b) small ionic size and 

(c) dipositive charge on the ions. 

As a result M-O bond in these hydroxides is relatively stronger than that of corresponding alkali metals and therefore does not break. 

(iii) Solubility of hydroxides: Because of smaller size and higher ionic charge, the lattice enthalpies of alkaline earth metals are much higher than those of alkali metals and hence the solubility of alkali metal hydroxides is much higher than that of alkaline earth metals. However the solubility of the hydroxides of both alkali and alkaline earth metals increase down the group due to large decrease in their lattice enthalpies as compared to their hydration enthalpies.

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