identifying Metals and Non-Metals

All You Need to Know About Identifying Metals and Non-Metals

Various types of material present around are elements and compounds. Metals and Non-metals are the results if elements are further divided. The properties between a metal and a non-metal help in distinguishing between the two. 92 elements in total are found naturally, and 70 are metals, and 22 are non-metals. The arrangement of elements in a Periodic Table helps in understanding them further.

You can read more about metals in the metals and nonmetals pdf at Vedantu.


Alkali metals, transition metals, lanthanides, actinides and alkaline earth metals are the category of metals. They are shiny in nature and a good conductor of heat. Among the metals, alkali metals are highly reactive at standard temperature and pressure and readily lose their outermost electrons to form cations.


Some non-metals are solids and gaseous at room temperature. The following are the non-metals – sulphur, carbon, all halogens, phosphorus, hydrogen, oxygen, selenium, nitrogen and noble gases.

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Physical Properties of Metals

  • Lustrous– A physical property of metal is its lustrousness. This particular property is the shine on the surface of a metal. There are utensils made of metals which has a metallic lustre.
  • Conductor of Electricity and Heat – Metals are a good conductor of heat and electricity. Utensils made of metals are utilised to conduct heat to the food, making it suitable for cooking. Copper, silver and metallic wires are good conductors of heat.
  • High Density and Melting Point – Density is defined as the mass of a substance per unit volume. Melting Point is defined as the temperature where solids start melting. Metals possess high density and melting points.
  • Malleable and Ductile– Malleability of metals refers to being beaten into a sheet by hammer or rolling. They are malleable as they can be stretched into a wire when pulled. Gold is a malleable metal as it can be stretched up to 1 km using 1 gm of Gold only.
  • Sonorous– A sound produced when metal strikes a hard surface is the sonorous property of a metal. School bells earlier were made of metals due to their sonorous property.
  • Solid-State – The existence of metal in solid-state exists at room temperature. The nature of metal is hard and varies from metal to metal.

Chemical Properties of Metals

  • Easily Corrodible– After the corrosion process, a metal changes into a stable form like oxide, sulphide or hydroxide that destructs it. A befitting example is the rusting of iron.
  • Can lose electrons – Positively charged ions occur in metals, and it happens due to the loss of electrons after a metal reacts with a non-metal.
  • Formation of basic oxides– After a metal reacts with oxygen, it forms basic oxides. Such oxides are known as Amphoteric Oxides.
  • Have low electronegativities – Electrons are very easily attracted due to high electronegativity. Low electronegativity is less able to attract electrons. Low electronegativity is a chemical property of metals.

Physical Properties of Non-Metals

  • Non-Lustrous– As there is no shine in a non-metal, hence they are non-lustrous. This is a physical property of non-metals.
  • Bad conductor of Heat – A physical property of non-metals is that it is a poor conductor of heat and electricity.
  • Melting Point and Low Density – Another physical characteristic of non-metals is their low density and very low melting point.
  • Brittle – They are brittle by nature, and if they are stretched or beaten, they can break. This makes non-metals neither malleable nor ductile.
  • Non-Sonorous – As no ringing sounds come are produced from non-metals, it makes them non-sonorous by nature.
  • Solid, Liquid and Gas – Most of the many non-metals present are found in gaseous states.

Chemical Properties of Non-Metals

  • Outer Shell comprises 4-8 electrons– The outer shell of non-metals has 4 to 8 electrons. Hence, it can attract electrons.
  • Can gain electrons– Non-metals can take the form of charged ions by gaining electron after it reacts with a metal.
  • Formation of Acidic Oxides – A non-metal changes into an acidic oxide after it reacts with oxygen.
  • Electronegativities are high – Non-metals comprise a chemical property that they have high electronegativities.

identifying Metals and Non-Metals

List of Metals

Metals are enlisted as under to identify them correctly.

Element Symbol Number in Periodic Table 
Lithium Li 3
Beryllium Be 4
Sodium Na 11
Magnesium Mg 12
Aluminium Al 13
Potassium K 19
Calcium Ca 20
Scandium Sc 21
Titanium Ti 22
Vanadium V 23
Chromium Cr 24
Manganese Mn 25
Iron Fe 26
Cobalt Co 27
Nickel Ni 28
Copper Cu 29
Zinc Zn 30
Gallium Ha 31
Rubidium Rb 37
Strontium Sr 38
Yttrium Y 39
Zirconium Zr 40
Niobium Nb 41
Molybdenum Mo 42
Technetium Tc 43
Ruthenium Ru 44
Rhodium Rh 45
Palladium Pd 46
Silver Ag 47
Cadmium Cd 48
Indium In 49
Tin Sn 50
Cesium Cd 55
Barium Ba 56
Lanthanum La 57
Cerium Ce 58
Praseodymium Pr 59
Neodymium Nd 60
Promethium Pm 61
Samarium Sm 62
Europium Eu 63
Gadolinium Gd 64
Terbium Tb 65
Dysprosium Dy 66
Holmium Ho 67
Erbium Er 68
Thulium Tm 69
Ytterbium Yb 70
Lutetium Lu 71
Hafnium Hf 72
Tantalum Tm 73
Tungsten W 74
Rhenium Re 75
Osmium Os 76
Iridium Ir 77
Platinum Pt 78
Gold Au 79
Mercury Hg 80
Thallium TI 81
Lead PB 82
Bismuth Bi 83
Polonium Po 84
Francium Fr 87
Radium Ra 88
Actinium Ac 89
Thorium Th 90
Protactinium Pa 91
Uranium U 92
Neptunium Np 93
Plutonium Pu 94
Americium Am 95
Curium Cm 96
Berkelium Bk 97
Californium Cf 98
Einsteinium Es 99
Fermium Fm 100
Mendelevium Md 101
Nobelium No 102
Lawrencium Lr 103
Rutherfordium Rf 104
Dubnium Db 105
Seaborgium Sg 106
Bohrium Bh 107
Hassium Hs 108
Meitnerium Mt 109
Darmstadtium Ds 110
Roentgenium Rg 111
Copernicium Cn 112
Ununtrium Uut 113
Flerovium Ft 114
Livermorium Lv 116

List of Non-Metals

Non-metals are enlisted below to know and identify them.

Element Element Symbol Number in Periodic Table 
Hydrogen H 1
Helium He 2
Carbon C 6
Nitrogen N 7
Oxygen O 8
Fluorine F 9
Neon Ne 10
Phosphorus P 15
Sulphur S 16
Chlorine Cl 17
Argon Ar 18
Selenium Se 34
Bromine Br 35
Krypton Kr 36
Iodine I 53
Xenon Xe 54
Astatine At 85
Radon Rn 117
Oganesson Og 118


A few elements have both the characteristics of a metal and a non-metal known as Metalloids. A proper study is required to be familiar with the features and properties of metals and non-metals. Metals are used in making machines, automobiles, aeroplanes, trains, industrial gadgets etc. As Oxygen is a non-metal, it is pivotal and necessary for living beings and found in abundance.

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