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Chapter 6 – Metals and Non-Metals

The following Topics and Sub-Topics are covered in this chapter and are available on MSVgo:


Chemistry is the science of material substances’ frameworks, physical properties, and chemical properties. It is essential to recognise that all gases, liquids, and solids are not created equal. In terms of structure, they are all special; this is why the matter’s classification is so crucial.Elements around us can be divided into two categories — metals and non-metals. They are distinguished based on their properties. You must be wondering how one can differentiate between the two. In general, metals (like copper or aluminium) are good conductors of electricity, while non-metals (like phosphorus) are insulators. The properties of metals and non-metals differ from each other based on their state, reaction with air and water, etc.

You must be aware of the periodic table. Most elements in the periodic table are metals. In the periodic table, metals and non-metals are separated by a zigzag line that starts from carbon and ends at radon. Metals generally are found on the left side of the periodic table.

Metals are electro-positive in nature, i.e., they donate their electrons to form positive ions to become more stable.

Properties of Metal
Metals have both physical and chemical properties that make them easy to distinguish from non-metals.

Physical properties: 

  • Metals are shiny and lustrous in nature.
  • They are good conductors of electricity.
  • They have a high melting point.
  • All metals except mercury are solid at room temperature.
  • They have a high density.
  • They are malleable and ductile.

Chemical properties:

  • They act as good reducing agents.
  • They have low electronegativities.
  • They can form basic oxides in contact with oxygen.
  • They corrode easily.
  • Metal can also lose electrons.

Metal Chemical Reaction
Metals can react with different elements and salts to form a new component. For example, metals can react with oxygen to form metal oxides.

  • The reaction of metals with oxygen:
    When metals react with oxygen, they donate electrons to oxygen to form oxides. The metal oxides thus formed are basic in nature. They can also be atmospheric in nature, meaning atmospheric oxides can be either acidic or basic in nature. Some metals, like sodium or potassium, can react vigorously with oxygen and can also catch fire.
  • The reaction of metals with water:
    Metals form metal hydroxide when reacting with water. However, some metals do not react with water, and the reactivity of metal with water differs from metal to metal. Metals like sodium and potassium are highly reactive to water, and form sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide.
  • The reaction of metals with dilute acids:
    Metals react vigorously with metals like sodium, potassium, and calcium to form their hydrogen and metal salts. Metals that are under hydrogen in the series of reactivity do not react with dilute acids. They are incapable of displacing hydrogen to react with the acid and form a bond.
  • The reaction of metals with salts:
    Metals that are highly reactive displace the less reactive metal and form the oxides, sulfides, or chlorides.

Non-metals occupy the right-hand side of the periodic table, and are fewer in number as compared to metals. Non-metals include sulphur, phosphorus, nitrogen, noble gases, selenium, oxygen, hydrogen, carbon, and halogens.

Non-metals gain electrons when they react with other compounds, and thus form covalent bonds. They are also highly electro-negative, meaning the atoms of the non-metals attract more electrons than they usually should have. Non-metals also have low melting and boiling point under normal atmospheric pressure.

Properties of Non-Metals
Non-metals also have physical and chemical properties that make them easily distinguishable from metals. They react differently to oxygen, water, and salts as well.

Physical properties:

  • They are poor conductors of heat and electricity.
  • They are non-ductile.
  • They can be brittle.
  • Non-metals can be either gas, liquid, or solid at room temperature.
  • They are generally transparent.

Chemical properties:

  • They act as oxidising agents.
  • They have high electro-negative elements.
  • They can quickly lose or gain valence electrons.
  • They generally have 4-8 electrons in the outer shell.

Non-Metal Chemical Reaction

  • Reaction with oxygen:
    Non-metals form oxides when they come in contact with oxygen. The oxides of the said non-metal can either be neutral or acidic.
    For example, Sulphur forms sulphur dioxide when it comes in contact with oxygen.
  • Reaction with water:
    Non-metals don’t react with water; however, they are highly reactive when they come in contact with oxygen.
  • The reaction of non-metal with dilute acids:
    Non-metal are not known to react with acids.
  • The reaction of non-metals with bases:
    Non-metals react with bases, and the reaction is very complex. For example, chlorine reacts with sodium hydroxide bases to give sodium hypochlorite, sodium chloride, and water.

Distinguishing between metal non-metals is easy through the following table:

Solid at room temperatureCan be either solid, liquid, or gas at room temperature
Have a metallic surfaceDo not have a metallic surface
Nature: Electro-positiveNature: Electro-negative
High densityLow density
Malleable and ductileBrittle and can break easily
Metals are hard, with the exception of sodiumNon-metals are soft, with the exception of the diamond
  1. Which non-metals can be used as fuel?
    Non-metals such as liquid hydrogen are used as rocket fuel. Rockets have separate hydrogen and oxygen tanks that combine when the ignition is turned on and the gas burns to start the rocket.
  2. What is a metal?
    Components that can conduct heat and electricity are classified as metals. Metals are also in solid-state and can be easily shaped in whatever shape desired.
  3. Are non-metals essential?
    Non-metals like oxygen are essential for existence as we breathe in oxygen and release carbon dioxide.

Formulas are critical, and one must understand the concept behind them. MSVgo is a learning app built on the philosophy that understanding a concept is the core of learning, and therefore explains the concepts with examples, animations, or explanatory visualisation. 

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High School Physics

  • Alternating Current
  • Atoms
  • Communication Systems
  • Current Electricity
  • Dual nature of Radiation and Matter
  • Electric Charges and Fields
  • Electricity
  • Electromagnetic Induction
  • Electromagnetic Waves
  • Electron Beams and Radioactivity
  • Electrons and Photons
  • Electrostatic Potential and Capacitance
  • Fluid Pressure
  • Force and Acceleration
  • Force And Laws Of Motion
  • Gravitation
  • Internal Energy
  • Kinetic Theory
  • Law of motion
  • Light – Reflection And Refraction
  • Magnetic Effects Of Electric Current
  • Magnetism and Matter
  • Management Of Natural Resources
  • Mechanical properties of Fluids
  • Mechanical properties of Solids
  • Motion
  • Motion in a plane
  • Motion in a straight line
  • Moving Charges and Magnetism
  • Nuclear Energy
  • Nuclei
  • Oscillations
  • Our Environment
  • Paths of Heat
  • Physical world
  • Ray optics and optical instruments
  • Semiconductor Devices
  • Semiconductor Electronics: Materials, Devices and Simple Circuits
  • Simple Machines
  • Sound
  • Sources Of Energy
  • Specific and Latent Heats
  • Spherical Mirrors
  • Static Electricity
  • Systems of Particles and Rotational motion
  • Thermal properties of matter
  • Thermodynamics
  • Units and Measurement
  • Vectors, Scalar Quantities and Elementary Calculus
  • Wave Optics
  • Waves
  • Work, Power and Energy

High School Chemistry

  • Acids, Bases and Salts
  • Alcohols, Phenols and Ethers
  • Aldehydes, Ketones and Carboxylic Acids
  • Aliphatic and Aromatic Hydrocarbons
  • Alkyl and Aryl Halides
  • Amines
  • Analytical Chemistry 
  • Atomic Structure
  • Atoms And Molecules
  • Basic concepts of Chemistry
  • Biomolecules
  • Carbon And Its Compounds
  • Carboxylic acids and Acid Derivatives
  • Chemical Bonding and Molecular Structures
  • Chemical Energetics
  • Chemical Equilibria
  • Chemical Kinetics
  • Chemical Reactions And Equations
  • Chemical Reactions and Their Mechanisms
  • Chemistry in Everyday Life
  • Chemistry of p-Block elements
  • Chemistry of Transition and Inner Transition
  • Classification of Elements
  • Coordination Compounds
  • Cyanide, Isocyanide, Nitro compounds and Amines
  • Electrochemistry
  • Electrolysis
  • Elements, Compounds and Mixtures
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Equilibrium
  • Ethers and Carbonyl compounds
  • Haloalkanes and Haloarenes
  • Hydrocarbons
  • Hydrogen
  • Ideal solutions
  • Introduction to Organic Chemistry
  • Ionic equilibria
  • Matter
  • Matter Around Us
  • Matter In Our Surroundings
  • Metallurgy
  • Metals And Non-Metals
  • Mole Concept and Stoichiometry
  • Natural Resources
  • Organic Chemistry – Basic Principles
  • Periodic Classification of Elements
  • Physical and Chemical Changes
  • Physical and Chemical Properties of Water
  • Polymers
  • Preparation, Properties and Uses of Compounds
  • Principles and Processes of Isolation of Elements
  • Redox Reactions
  • Relative Molecular Mass and Mole
  • States of Matter
  • Structure Of The Atom
  • Study of Compounds
  • Study of Gas Laws
  • Study of Representative Elements
  • Surface Chemistry
  • The d-block and f-block elements
  • The Gaseous State
  • The p-Block Elements
  • The Periodic Table
  • The s-Block Elements
  • The Solid State
  • Thermodynamics

High School Biology

  • Absorption and Movement of Water in Plants
  • Adolescent Issues
  • Anatomy of Flowering Plants
  • Animal Kingdom
  • Bacteria and Fungi-Friends and Foe
  • Biodiversity and Conservation
  • Biofertilizers
  • Biological Classification
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomolecules
  • Biotechnology and its Applications
  • Biotic Community
  • Body Fluids and Circulation
  • Breathing and Exchange of Gases
  • Cell – Unit of Life
  • Cell Cycle and Cell Division
  • Cell Division and Structure of Chromosomes
  • Cell Reproduction
  • Cellular Respiration
  • Chemical Coordination and Integration
  • Circulation
  • Control And Coordination
  • Crop Improvement
  • Digestion and Absorption
  • Diversity In Living Organisms
  • Ecosystem
  • Environmental Issues
  • Excretory Products and their Elimination
  • Flowering Plants
  • Genes and Chromosomes
  • Health and Diseases
  • Health and Its Significance
  • Heredity And Evolution
  • Heredity and Variation
  • How Do Organisms Reproduce?
  • Human Diseases
  • Human Eye And Colourful World
  • Human Health and Disease
  • Human Population
  • Human Reproduction
  • Hygiene
  • Improvement In Food Resources
  • Integumentary System- Skin
  • Kingdom Fungi
  • Kingdom Monera
  • Kingdom Protista
  • Life Processes
  • Locomotion and Movement
  • Microbes in Human Welfare
  • Mineral Nutrition
  • Molecular Basis of Inheritance
  • Morphology of Flowering Plants
  • Neural Control And Coordination
  • Nutrition in Human Beings
  • Organism and Population
  • Photosynthesis
  • Photosynthesis in Higher Plants
  • Plant Growth and Development
  • Plant Kingdom
  • Pollination and Fertilization
  • Pollution; Sources and its effects
  • Principles of Inheritance and Variation
  • Reproduction and Development in Angiosperms
  • Reproduction in Organisms
  • Reproductive Health
  • Respiration in Human Beings
  • Respiration in Plants
  • Respiratory System
  • Sexual Reproduction in Flowering Plants
  • Strategies for Enhancement in Food Production
  • Structural Organisation in Animals
  • Structural Organisation of the Cell
  • The Endocrine System
  • The Fundamental Unit Of Life
  • The Living World
  • The Nervous System and Sense Organs
  • Tissues
  • Transpiration
  • Transport in Plants

High School Math

  • Algebra – Arithmatic Progressions
  • Algebra – Complex Numbers and Quadratic Equations
  • Algebra – Linear Inequalities
  • Algebra – Pair of Linear Equations in Two Variables
  • Algebra – Polynomials
  • Algebra – Principle of Mathematical Induction
  • Algebra – Quadratic Equations
  • Binomial Theorem
  • Calculus – Applications of Derivatives
  • Calculus – Applications of the Integrals
  • Calculus – Continuity and Differentiability
  • Calculus – Differential Equations
  • Calculus – Integrals
  • Geometry – Area
  • Geometry – Circles
  • Geometry – Conic Sections
  • Geometry – Constructions
  • Geometry – Introduction to Euclid’s Geometry
  • Geometry – Three-dimensional Geometry
  • Geometry – Lines and Angles
  • Geometry – Quadrilaterals
  • Geometry – Straight Lines
  • Geometry – Triangles
  • Linear Programming
  • Matrices and Determinants
  • Mensuration – Areas
  • Mensuration – Surface Areas and Volumes
  • Number Systems
  • Number Systems – Real Numbers
  • Permutations and Combinations
  • Probability
  • Sequence and Series
  • Sets and Functions
  • Statistics 
  • Trignometry – Height and Distance
  • Trignometry – Identities
  • Trignometry – Introduction

Middle School Science

  • Acids, Bases And Salts
  • Air and Its Constituents
  • Basic Biology
  • Body Movements
  • Carbon and Its Compounds
  • Cell – Structure And Functions
  • Changes Around Us
  • Chemical Effects Of Electric Current
  • Chemistry in Your Life
  • Coal And Petroleum
  • Combustion And Flame
  • Components Of Food
  • Conservation Of Plants And Animals
  • Crop Production And Management
  • Electric Current And Its Effects
  • Electricity And Circuits
  • Elements and Compounds
  • Fibre To Fabric
  • Food production and management
  • Force And Pressure
  • Forests: Our Lifeline
  • Friction
  • Fun With Magnets
  • Garbage In, Garbage Out
  • Getting To Know Plants
  • Health and Hygiene
  • Heat
  • Hydrogen
  • Life Processes: Nutrition in Animals and Plants
  • Light, Shadows And Reflections
  • Materials: Metals And Non-Metals
  • Matter and Its States
  • Metals and Non-metals
  • Micro Organisms: Friend And Foe
  • Motion And Measurement Of Distances
  • Motion And Time
  • Nutrition In Animals
  • Nutrition In Plants
  • Organization in Living Things
  • Our Environment
  • Physical And Chemical Changes
  • Pollution and conservation
  • Pollution Of Air And Water
  • Reaching The Age Of Adolescence
  • Reproduction In Animals
  • Reproduction In Plants
  • Respiration In Organisms
  • Rocks and Minerals
  • Separation Of Substances
  • Simple Machines
  • Soil
  • Some Natural Phenomena
  • Sorting Materials Into Groups
  • Sound
  • Stars And The Solar System
  • Structure of Atom
  • Synthetic Fibers And Plastics
  • The Living Organisms And Their Surroundings
  • Transfer of Heat
  • Transformation of Substances
  • Transportation In Animals And Plants
  • Universe
  • Waste-water Story
  • Water: A Precious Resource
  • Weather, Climate And Adaptations Of Animals To Climate
  • Winds, Storms And Cyclones

Middle School Math

  • Addition
  • Area and Its Boundary
  • Boxes and Sketches
  • Data Handling
  • Fun With Numbers
  • Heavy and Light
  • How Many
  • Long And Short
  • Mapping
  • Measurement
  • Money
  • Multiplication and Factors
  • Multiply and Divide
  • Numbers
  • Parts and Wholes
  • Pattern Recognition
  • Patterns
  • Play With Patterns
  • Rupees And Paise
  • Shapes And Angles
  • Shapes And Designs
  • Shapes and Space
  • Similarity
  • Smart Charts
  • Squares
  • Subtraction
  • Tables And Shares
  • Tenths and Hundredths
  • Time
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