Chapter 3: Metals and Non-metals

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Q
Metals and Non-metals

Question:

You are given a hammer, a battery, a bulb, wires and a switch.

(a) How could you use them to distinguish between samples of metals and non-metals?

(b) Assess the usefulness of these tests in distinguishing between metals and non-metals

Answer:

(a)- If the substance forms thin sheets using a hammer, it is a metal but it the substance broked into pieces when hammered, it is a non-metal. This is because the metal is malleable while non-metal is non-malleable.

Metals are good conductor of electricity while non-metals are bad conductor of electricity. To prove this, a circuit is prepared using a battery, wires, switch, and a bulb. When an iron metal is connected to the circuit, the current will pass through the circuit and the bulb will glow. While, when a non-metal like sulphur is connected to the circuit, the current will not pass through it and the bulb will not glow.

(b)- These tests explained the malleability and electrical conductivity of metals and non-metals. So, they are used to define the physical properties of metals and non-metals. But there are some exceptions also for the given properties. All metals are not malleable. For example, sodium is a brittle metal that can easily cut through the knife. Graphite is the allotrope of carbon and it is the only non-metal that is a good conductor of electricity.


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