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Metals and Non-metals


Chemical Properties of Metals

In the    Periodic Table  Group(1) IA and Group(2) IIA (the alkali metals) are the most active metals.   The transition elements, groups (3 to 12 )  IB to VIIIB, are also considered metals.

Most metals have positive valences i.e. during a reaction, they tend to give away electrons to the substances they react with.  The therefore enter chemical reactions as positive ions (cations)   Also, metals have low combining power, in that when they react and mix, they easily lose electrons.

Characteristics of metals

The vast majority of metals form lattice structures such as Body centred cubic (BCC).   Face centred cubic -Close packed cubic(CCP) and hexagonal close=packed structures (HCP).

Bonding between metal atoms is by the   metallic bond.

  • Solids at room temperature (except mercury)
  • High melting points
  • High densities
  • Large atomic radii
  • Low ionization energies
  • Usually, high deformation, malleable, and ductile
  • Usually good thermal and electrical conductors
  • Metallic lustrous appearance
Chemical Properties of Non-Metals

Non-metals have negative valences unlike metals.   They either react mildly (carbon group, nitrogen group and oxygen group) or they are non-reactive (noble gases).   Non-metals also tend to gain more electrons during a reaction.

Characteristics of non-metals<

  • High ionization energies
  • High electronegativities
  • Poor thermal conductors
  • Poor electrical conductors
  • Brittle solids
  • Little or no metallic luster
  • Gain electrons easily

Links relevant to organic chemistry..
  1. Hyperphysics - Metals and Non metals....Identifies basic characteristics of metals and non-metals
  2. about.com Metals and non metals.... Notes identifying characteristics of metals and non-metals
  3. Metals.... Non-Metals Notes identifying characteristics of metals and non-metals

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Last Updated 29/01/2013