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Metals and Non-Metals

Metals and Non-Metals

If we have studied chemistry in the middle classes, then we already know a great deal about metals and non-metals. But in this article, we will talk about the metals and non-metals in a lot more depth than usual.

The concept of metals and non-metals is one of the most important concepts in chemistry. If we have to relate this to the higher levels of chemistry. Then, we can say that this concept forms the basis of the whole inorganic chemistry that we study in the higher classes. 

Metals 

All the elements that we study in chemistry are composed of three types of elements namely, metals, non-metals and the metalloids. But in this article we will talk about the first two only. Metals are those types of elements which have the properties exactly opposite to those of non-metals. The metals have properties such as malleability, ductility, lustre and many more. The non-metals do not have any of these properties at all. 

 Some of the examples of metals are iron, nickel, cobalt and sodium. The most basic definition of metals is the type of elements which are able to attract some pieces of iron in general. These elements are the types of elements which are able to conduct both heat and electricity very easily. 

Concept of Periodic Table 

The periodic table is one of the most genius or brilliant creations in the history of chemistry. It is said to have been developed by the legendary chemist, Dmitri Mendeleev. In honour of this legend, the ninety ninth element was named Mendelevium. The periodic table is basically a list of all the metals that have been discovered yet and a very interesting fact about this table is that the elements have been arranged in the way they behave and not alphabetically. 

 This table consists of around hundred and eighteen elements and around ninety five of them are metals. Rest of them are metalloids and non-metals. Now all the metals may have different reactions to different metals but that does not matter as they have already been arranged in the form in which they will react towards those gases. 

Alloys 

Alloys are the types of mixtures that are formed using different types of metals and non-metals. Some examples of alloys are brass, bronze. There are a lot of other alloys also but we will not discuss them in detail. These types of metals can also be further categorised into two types of metals , ferromagnetic and non-ferromagnetic metals. 

Ferromagnetic metals are the types of metals that have every property that the metals possess and are usually the highest quality of metals. Some of the examples of ferromagnetic metals are iron, nickel and cobalt. Now, the non-ferromagnetic metals are the metals which do not usually have every property that the metals have and are not the highest quality of metals. Some of the examples of non-ferromagnetic metals are sodium and magnesium. 

Rows and columns 

As we have discussed about the metals and non-metals and how they have been arranged in the periodic table. So the straight group in a periodic table is called a row and the horizontal group in the periodic table is called a column. Now, the elements in the first row are called the alkali metals and the elements in the second row are called the alkaline earth metals. Some of the examples of alkali metals are lithium, sodium, potassium, rubidium, cesium and francium. 

Some of the examples of alkaline earth metals are beryllium, magnesium, calcium, strontium, barium and radium. These elements have been named into separate groups because they react with the different gases in the same way and give out the same products and by products also. Some of the elements in these groups or columns may exhibit different kinds of behaviour but then they are not included in these groups or columns. 

Non- metals 

Non- metals are the types of elements that have all the properties that the metals do not have. These elements do not possess malleability, ductility, lustre or any form of colour appearance. Most of the elements that are present in the layers of the Earth are non-metals and they are like oxygen and nitrogen. These are the types of elements that are not so much about relevance but are still very important. 

Notmuch is known about them as compared to the information we have on metals as the research in the field of non-metals is still going on. The non-metals do not conduct electricity and heat at all and are known for having all contrasting properties towards the metals. Now like we discussed the alkali metals and the alkaline earth metals while we were discussing metals. Here, in this section we will study about noble gases and radioactive elements. Now the seventeenth group consists of the halogens and some of them are fluorine, chlorine, bromine and iodine whereas the eighteenth group consists of helium, neon, argon, krypton, xenon and radon. Now, all these gases have different types of properties when they react to different gases but they are placed in the same groups because they react in a certain way to all the different elements who are not in their groups. There is another halogen namely astatine that in real sense is not actually considered a halogen as it has intense radioactivity and is not present in the environment for a long period of time.

Conclusion 

The concept of metals and non-metals is one of the most important concepts in chemistry. If we are able to master this concept early on then we will be able to master the whole inorganic chemistry very easily.