Guide to Metals

Guide to Metals

A Guide to Metals & the Periodic Table

There are a number of metals which have been discovered. They generally have similar properties such as being shiny, able to conduct electricity and remain solid at around room temperature. Non-metals are usually the opposite of metals in their properties. They are not shiny, are not good at conducting electricity and at room temperature may remain a solid or turn into liquid or a gas.

Some examples of what are considered metals are Aluminum, Potassium, Gold, Silver, Copper, Sodium and Mercury. Elements that would be considered non-metals in the periodic table include Nitrogen, Oxygen and Hydrogen. There are also a group of elements that have some properties of both metals and non-metals. And tend to fall in the category between the two groups. They are called metalloids and elements in this group include Silicon, Boron and Carbon.

The periodic table is a key component to understanding properties and how they relate in the field of chemistry. To help learn more about metals, non-metals and even metalloids, we have put together the following helpful pages:

  • What is a metal?  Metals are opaque, lustrous elements that are good conductors of heat and electricity. Most metals are malleable and ductile and are, in general, denser than the other elemental substances.

    What are some applications of metals?

    • Transportation -- Cars, buses, trucks, trains, ships, and airplanes.
    • Aerospace -- Unmanned and manned rockets and the space shuttle. Computers and other electronic devices that require conductors (TV, radio, stereo, calculators, security devices, etc.)
    • Communications including satellites that depend on a tough but light metal shell.
    • Food processing and preservation -- Microwave and conventional ovens and refrigerators and freezers.
    • Construction -- Nails in conventional lumber construction and structural steel inother buildings.
    • Biomedical applications -- As artificial replacement for joints and other prostheses.
    • Electrical power production and distribution -- Boilers, turbines, generators, transformers, power lines, nuclear reactors, oil wells, and pipelines.
    • Farming -- Tractors, combines, planters, etc.
    • Household conveniences -- Ovens, dish and clothes washers, vacuum cleaners, blenders, pumps, lawn mowers and trimmers, plumbing, water heaters, heating/cooling, etc.

  • Metal – A Science Daily online article which provides a look at what a metal is defined as.

  • History of Metals – This page provides readers with a brief, but concise, history of metals.

  • Metal Facts – A fun and educational article with information and facts about metals for kids.

  • Principles of Metals – This University of Illinois page gives a look at the various principles of metals.

  • Metals and Non-metals – An article which contains a comparison of the properties of both metals and non-metals.

  • The Chemistry of Non-metals – This article from Purdue University gives readers an overview of what constitutes a non-metal.

  • Non-metals – Helpful page with a description of non-metals and examples of the elements in this category.

  • Non-metals in the Periodic Table – Information on the different non metallic elements in the periodic table.

  • Properties of Elements – Useful page with a listing of properties of metals, non-metals and metalloids.

  • Elements for Kids – Page for kids which explains what is a non-metal.

  • Non-metal Elements – Publication which provides information on the properties of non-metal elements.

  • Metalloids – Information on the elements considered metalloids and where they reside in the periodic table.

  • Metalloids Defined – A simple definition of what is a metalloid.

  • Definition of Metalloid – Web page which provides a brief explanation of the term metalloid.

  • Metalloid – Page from a presentation which offers information on metalloids.

  • Metalloids in the Periodic Table – A look at where metalloids are listed in the periodic table.

  • Metalloid Information – In this page from Princeton University you will learn about metalloids in the periodic table.

  • Characterizing the Elements – Informative page which provides information on the various elements.

  • Periodic Table of Elements – Interactive page with information about the various elements of the periodic table.

  • Visual Elements Periodic Table – Informative page with chemical information about each element.

  • Chart of All Chemical Elements – Web page that contains a visual look at all chemical elements.

  • Parts of the Periodic Table – Information and description of the various parts of the periodic table.

  • Periodic Table – Useful page which gives an overview of the periodic table of elements.

  • Elements and the Periodic Table – Page for kids which explains about elements in the world.

  • Periodic Table for Kids – Information and resources on teaching kids about the periodic table using videos, games and other methods.

  • Kids Resources – Collection of useful pages which helps kids understand the periodic table of elements.

  • Periodic Table of Elements – Interactive web page aimed to help kids learn about the elements.

  • Science Teacher Resources – This page features a number of useful websites for teachers to use to help kids understand chemistry and the elements.

  • Fun Activities – Activities that teachers can use to introduce the periodic table of elements to students.

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