Most elements are metals. This group includes the alkali metals, alkaline earth metals, transition metals, basic metals, lanthanides (rare earth elements), and actinides. Although separate on the periodic table, the lanthanides and actinides are really specific types of transition metals.
Here's a list of all the elements on the periodic table that are metals.
The alkali metals are in group IA on the far left side of the periodic table. They are highly reactive elements, distinctive because of their +1 oxidation state and generally low density compared with other metals. Because they are so reactive, these elements are found in compounds. Only hydrogen is found free in nature as a pure element, and that is as diatomic hydrogen gas.
- Hydrogen in its metallic state (usually considered a nonmetal)
Alkaline Earth Metals
The alkaline earth metals are found in group IIA of the periodic table, which is the second column of elements. All of the alkaline earth metal atoms have a +2 oxidation state. Like the alkali metals, these elements are found in compounds rather than pure form. The alkaline earths are reactive but less so than the alkali metals. Group IIA metals are hard and shiny and usually malleable and ductile.
The basic metals display the characteristics people generally associate with the term "metal." They conduct heat and electricity, have a metallic luster, and tend to be dense, malleable, and ductile. However, these elements start to display some nonmetallic characteristics. For example, one allotrope of tin behaves more as a nonmetal. While most metals are hard, lead and gallium are examples of elements that are soft. These elements tend to have lower melting and boiling points than the transition metals (with some exceptions).
- Nihonium: probably a basic metal
- Flerovium: probably a basic metal
- Moscovium: probably a basic metal
- Livermorium: probably a basic metal
- Tennessine: in the halogen group but may behave more like a metalloid or metal
The transition metals are characterized by having partially filled d or f electron subshells. Since the shell is incompletely filled, these elements display multiple oxidation states and often produce colored complexes. Some transition metals occur in pure or native form, such as gold, copper, and silver. The lanthanides and actinides are found only in compounds in nature.
More About Metals
In general, metals are located on the left-hand side of the periodic table, decreasing in metallic character moving up and to the right.
Depending on conditions, elements belonging to the metalloid group may behave like metals. In addition, even nonmetals may be metals. For example, in certain situations, you may find metallic oxygen or metallic carbon.
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