AUG 30, 2018 08:45 AM PDT

Combining chemistry: Metals and what they can do

More than 80% of all elements in the periodic table are metals. While we typically think of elements as invisible to the naked eye or simply some of the components of air, most of these are metallic that form strong bonds with themselves and other elements, creating a wide array of interesting mixtures and alloys.

Metals are known to be ductile, lustrous, and effective conductors of electricity and heat, where atoms inside of a metal lose electrons to make positive ions or cations. With these properties come unusual colors and reactions that one wouldn’t normally expect from the typically gray tone of most metals. Beautiful rocks and gems can be byproducts of heated metals. Fireworks are the result of excited electrons in the atoms of different metal and salt compounds that give off different colors. Fantastic explosions erupt from mixing metals with non-metals such as thermite and ice. It turns out metals are much more than meets the eye if you just know what to look for.

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About the Author
  • I love all things science and am passionate about bringing science to the public through writing. With an M.S. in Genetics and experience in cancer research, marketing and technical writing, it is a pleasure to share the latest trends and findings in science on LabRoots.
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