Metals,non-metals and metaloids

by isaiah


Using the periodic table, you can classify the elements in many ways. One useful way is by metals, nonmetals, and metalloids. Most of the elements on the periodic table are classified as metals
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In the periodic table, you can see a stair-stepped line starting at Boron (B), atomic number 5, and going all the way down to Polonium (Po), atomic number 84. Except for Germanium (Ge) and Antimony (Sb), all the elements to the left of that line can be classified as metals
  • They are solid (with the exception of mercury, Hg, a liquid).

  • They are shiny, good conductors of electricity and heat.

  • They are ductile (they can be drawn into thin wires).

  • They are malleable (they can be easily hammered into very thin sheets).

All these metals tend to lose electrons easily. The following figure shows the metals

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Non-metals are the elements in groups 14-16 of the periodic table. Non-metals are not able to conduct electricity or heat very well. As opposed to metals, non-metallic elements are very brittle, and cannot be rolled into wires or pounded into sheets. The non-metals exist in two of the three states of matter at room temperature: gases (such as oxygen) and solids (such as carbon). The non-metals have no metallic luster, and do not reflect light
  • Poor thermal conductors
  • Poor electrical conductors
  • Brittle solids
  • Little or no metallic luster
  • Gain electrons easily
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Metalloids are the elements found along the stair-step line that distinguishes metals from non-metals. This line is drawn from between Boron and Aluminum to the border between Polonium and Astatine. The only exception to this is Aluminum, which is classified under other metals. Metalloids have properties of both metals and non-metals. Some of the metalloids, such as silicon and germanium, are semi-conductors. This means that they can carry an electrical charge under special conditions. This property makes metalloids useful in computers and calculators
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