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Sukanya Roy from DR. KKR GOWTHAM EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTION, asked a question
Subject: Science , asked on 12/2/14

What are the physical and chemical properties of metals and non-metals?

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Debopriyo Roy From Kendriya Vidyalaya, added an answer, on 12/2/14
68 helpful votes in Science


Metals- Metals are malleable, ductile, good conductors of heat and electricity, lustrous, usually strong,sonorous,generally hard.

Non Metals- Non metals are brittle, not ductile, poor conductors of heat and electricity, dull, not strong, not sonorous, quite soft.



1) Metals react with oxygen to form metal oxides. Metal oxides are basic in nature.

2) When a metal reacts with water, then a metal hydroxide and hydrogen gas are formed.

3) Most of the metals react with dilute acids to form salts and hydrogen gas.

4) Some metals react with bases to form salts and hydrogen gas.

Non metals-

1)Non metals react with oxygen to form non-metal oxides.Non metal oxides are acidic in nature.

2)Non metals do not react with water, dilute acids.

3)Some non-metals react with bases (like sodium hydroxide) but no hydrogen gas is produced.

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Akanksha Chauhan From Kendriya Vidyalaya No. 1 , added an answer, on 22/6/12
1123 helpful votes in Science

Chemical Properties of Metals
Most metals are chemically reactive, reacting with oxygen in the air to form oxides over changing timescales (for example iron rusts over years and potassium burns in seconds). The alkali metals react quickest followed by the alkaline earth metals, found in the leftmost two groups of the periodic table. Examples:
4Na + O2 → 2Na2O (sodium oxide)
2Ca + O2 → 2CaO (calcium oxide)
4Al + 3O2 → 2Al2O3 (aluminium oxide)

The transition metals take much longer to oxidize (such as iron, copper, zinc, nickel). Others, like palladium, platinum and gold, do not react with the atmosphere at all. Some metals form a barrier layer of oxide on their surface which cannot be penetrated by further oxygen molecules and thus retain their shiny appearance and good conductivity for many decades (like aluminium, some steels, and titanium). The oxides of metals are basic (as opposed to those of nonmetals, which are acidic), although this may be considered a rule of thumb, rather than a fact.
Painting, anodising or plating metals are good ways to prevent their corrosion. However, a more reactive metal in the electrochemical series must be chosen for coating, especially when chipping of the coating is expected. Water and the two metals form an electrochemical cell, and if the coating is less reactive than the coatee, the coating actually promotes corrosion.
Physical Properties of Metals
Traditionally, metals have certain characteristic physical properties: they are usually shiny (they have metallic luster), have a high density, are ductile and malleable, usually have a high melting point, are usually hard, are usually a solid at room temperature and conduct electricity, heat and sound well. While there are several metals that are low density, soft, and have low melting points, these (the alkali and alkaline earth metals) are extremely reactive, and are rarely encountered in their elemental, metallic form.
The electrical and thermal conductivity of metals originate from the fact that in the metallic bond the outer electrons of the metal atoms form a gas of nearly free electrons, moving as an electron gas in a background of positive charge formed by the ion cores. Good mathematical predictions for electrical conductivity, as well as the electrons ' contribution to the heat capacity and heat conductivity of metals can be calculated from the free electron model, which does not take the detailed structure of the ion lattice into account.
When considering the exact band structure and binding energy of a metal, it is necessary to take into account the positive potential caused by the specific arrangement of the ion cores - which is periodic in crystals. The most important consequence of the periodic potential is the formation of a small band gap at the boundary of the brillouin zone. Mathematically, the potential of the ion cores is treated in the nearly-free electron model.
Non-metal is a term used in chemistry when classifying the chemical elements. On the basis of their general physical and chemical properties, every element in the periodic table can be termed either a metal or a non-metal. (A few elements with intermediate properties are referred to as metalloids.)

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Pratik Gadhiya From Shri Ramkrishna Harikirshna Academy, added an answer, on 1/9/12
28 helpful votes in Science

Metal Physical Properties

  • lustrous (shiny)
  • good conductors of heat and electricity
  • high melting point
  • high density (heavy for their size)
  • malleable (can be hammered)
  • ductile (can be drawn into wires)
  • usually solid at room temperature (an exception is mercury)
  • opaque as a thin sheet (can 't see through metals)
  • metals are sonorous or make a bell-like sound when struck

Metal Chemical Properties

  • have 1-3 electrons in the outer shell of each metal atom
  • corrode easily (e.g., damaged by oxidation such as tarnish or rust)
  • lose electrons easily
  • form oxides that are basic
  • have lower electronegativities
  • are good reducing agents


Nonmetal Physical Properties

  • not lustrous (dull appearance)
  • poor conductors of heat and electricity
  • nonductile solids
  • brittle solids
  • may be solids, liquids or gases at room temperature
  • transparent as a thin sheet
  • nonmetals are not sonorous

Nonmetal Chemical Properties

  • usually have 4-8 electrons in their outer shell
  • readily gain or share valence electrons
  • form oxides that are acidic
  • have higher electronegativities
  • are good oxidizing agents
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