Elements can be classified as metals and non-metals. Metals are lustrous, malleable, ductile and are good conductors of heat and electricity. They are solids at room temperature, except mercury which is a liquid. Metals can form positive ions by losing electrons to non-metals.
Metals combine with oxygen to form basic oxides. Aluminium oxide and zinc oxide show the properties of both basic as well as acidic oxides. These oxides are known as amphoteric oxides. Different metals have different reactivities with water and dilute acids. A list of common metals arranged in order of their decreasing reactivity is known as an activity series. Metals above hydrogen in the Activity series can displace hydrogen from dilute acids. A more reactive metal displaces a less reactive metal from its salt solution.
The extraction of metals from their ores and then refining them for use is known as metallurgy. The surface of some metals, such as iron, is corroded when they are exposed to moist air for a long period of time. This phenomenon is known as corrosion.
Non-metals have properties opposite to that of metals. They are neither malleable nor ductile. They are bad conductors of heat and electricity, except for graphite, which conducts electricity.
Non-metals form negatively charged ions by gaining electrons when reacting with metals. Non-metals form oxides which are either acidic or neutral. Non-metals do not displace hydrogen from dilute acids. They react with hydrogen to form hydrides.
A SmartTest on Metals and Non-Metals