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Why there are much more metallic elements in the world than the non-metalllic one?

  1. Sep 6, 2008 #1
    Why there are much more metallic elements in the world than the non-metalllic one???

    We can see on the periodic table most of the elements are metallic but why?
    is there any relevance to the electronic configuration?
    I can't find any helpful web-site to solve this problem.Please give me some relevant information to read and find out the reason~~~Please help!
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2008
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 7, 2008 #2

    Astronuc

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    Re: Why there are much more metallic elements in the world than the non-metalllic one

    Um - yeah. It has to do with the electronic config, and the outermost electrons. Note the two groups on the left - alkali and alkaline earth from period 2 and down, they are metals. The groups in the middle 3- groups 3-12 (in periods 4-7) are the transition metals (they fill d-subshell). To the right is a region that has some metals, semi-metals, non-metals (in which the p-subshell progressively fills) and to the far right as the p-shell fills, they become gases, and farthest right column with full s2p6 configurations are the noble (monatomic) gases.

    http://www.webelements.com/

    http://periodic.lanl.gov/default.htm - shows different groups - but boundary between metal and semi-metal is not clear.

    http://www.elementsdatabase.com/ - groups semi-metals with non-metals.

    http://education.jlab.org/itselemental/index.html - shows which are solid, liquid and gas at room temperature or STP.

    Some periodic tables show which are metal, semi-metal, non-metal and gas, but unfortunately most do not.

    Semi-metals are B, Si, As, Sb, Te, At - to the left of the left most non-metals are metals.

    Non-metals are C, P, S, Se

    Halogens - F, Cl, are gases, Br is liquid, and I is solid at room temperature. Br and I have very low melting/boiling points and are conisdered volatiles.

    See also electron configuration -
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electron_configuration
    http://education.jlab.org/qa/electron_config.html
     
  4. Sep 7, 2008 #3

    Mapes

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    Re: Why there are much more metallic elements in the world than the non-metalllic one

    Since "metallic" involves having delocalized electrons (i.e., electrons that are easy to pull away from their atoms), to a first approximation all elements could be metallic except for the noble metals, whose electron shells are filled and in a relatively low-energy state. And indeed most elements are metals, as you observed. The ones that aren't are ones that are only one, two, or three (occasionally four) electrons away from having a full shell. These form covalent (electron sharing) compounds that tend to tie up the electrons tightly.

    At the middle ground are germanium (Ge) and silicon (Si). They conduct heat like metals. They almost conduct electricity like metals; all you have to do is shine light on them to give the electrons enough energy to move around.
     
  5. Sep 9, 2008 #4
    Re: Why there are much more metallic elements in the world than the non-metalllic one

    but the truth is , even though i know these electrical configuration, i still can't used explain why metal is much more than non-metal in the periodic table. It is because, using those configuration, i can only tell which element is more stable in nature.???
     
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