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Periodic table (metals and nonmetals)

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Periodic table (metals and nonmetals)

Elements by periodic table can be divided up into metal, nonmetal, and metalloids (in between) based on their properties. Everything from the left to the metalloid "stairstep" is a metal, and everything to the right is a nonmetal. The periodic table shows most elements are metals.


Template:Periodic table (metals and nonmetals)


Metals are commonly:

  • Shiny
  • Good conductor of heat and electricity
  • High melting point
  • Malleable (this means that they can be hammered or distorted)
  • Ductile (this means that they can be drawn into wires)
  • Usually solid at room temperature. An exception to this is mercury, which is liquid in nature.
  • Generally have low electronegativities

The structure and bonding of metals is also unique. A metallic substance has atoms that are closing packed to their neighboring atoms. There are two common arrangements for metals, one of which is the body-centered cubic. In this arrangement each atom is at the center of eight other atoms. The other arrangement is called the face-centered cubic, and this is the same as the body-centered cubic except the atom is the center of six other atoms. These arrangements cause a crystal structure.

As far as bonding goes, metals easily lose their outer shell electrons, or valence electrons. This property is what gives them their ability to easily conduct heat and electricity.

There are sub-groups of metals called the alkali metals, alkaline earth metals, and transition metals


Non-metals generally have the opposite characteristics:

  • Not shiny
  • Usually poor conductors of heat and electricity
  • May be solids, liquids, or gas at room temperature
  • Generally have high electronegativities
  • Non-ductile and brittle solids

Nonmetal atoms are generally small and contain relatively large numbers of electrons in their outer shell. The noble gas nonmetals have completely filled outer electron shells, and most nonmetals have almost filled outer shells. This is contrasted to the metals, which have a small number of electrons in their outer shell. Nonmetals are also divided into sub-groups like the metals. These are called the halogens and the noble gases.

Nonmetals are very broad and encompass many types of behaviors. Nonmetals make up most of the crust, atmosphere, and oceans of the Earth. Additionally, most of what comprises any living organism is made of nonmetals such as carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen, and phosphorus. Template:PeriodicTablesFooter

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