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Metals: Matter, Properties, States and Application

Aug 19, 2022

Key Concepts

  • Element
  • Atom
  • Ductile
  • Malleable
  • Conductor of heat
  • Conductor of electricity


Matter is anything that has mass and takes up space. Most things are made of matter. The air we breathe and the books we read are made of matter.


Light and heat are not matter. They do not take up space. 

                       SMELL LIGHT FEELINGS 



  1. Matter has mass 

Mass is the amount of matter making up an object. Mass is often measured in units called grams (g) or kilograms (kg). 

  1. Matter has volume 

Volume is how much space an object takes up. We can measure volume with tools like graduated cylinders (shown below). 

  1. The ability of matter to attract certain metal objects. 
  1. The ability of matter to dissolve in a liquid. When a substance dissolves, it blends in and seems to disappear. Sugar and salt will dissolve in water. Sand will not. 
  1. Buoyancy is a property that helps us build boats. Buoyancy is the upward force of a liquid or gas on an object. All objects are buoyant. Some objects are so buoyant that they float. 


Matter is found in many forms. We call these forms states. Solid, liquid, and gas are the three common states of matter on Earth. 

Introduction and Explanation: 

All matter is made of elements. An element is a substance that is made up of only one type of matter. Elements are “the building blocks of matter.” That is because an element cannot be broken down into a simpler form. Examples: Hydrogen, oxygen, gold and silver. 

Elements are made up of atoms. An atom is the smallest part of an element. Atoms are so tiny as particles that we cannot see them. All atoms in an element are alike. For instance, all the atoms in copper are copper atoms. They have different properties from the atoms of any other element. 



  1. Metals are shiny in nature. This property of metal is called lustrous. 
  1. Metals can be bent or molded by beating with a hammer or with any hard substance. 
  1. Ductility is one of the properties of metals by virtue of which they can be drawn into wires.  
  1. The property of metals by which they can be beaten into thin sheets with the help of a hammer is known as malleability. 
  1. Metals are good conductors of heat. Heat can pass through them. This property of metal is used for making utensils. 
  1. Metals are good conductors of electricity. Electricity can pass through them. This property of metal is used for making electrical wire. 


  • Connect the circuit as shown in diagram. Connect different objects like steel, wood and copper. 
  • If the object is metal, then the bulb will glow.  
  1. GOLD 
  • Used as jewelry due to its shiny appearance, ductility, hardness and malleability. 
  1. COPPER 
  • Copper is a good conductor of electricity, used for making electrical wires. 
  • Ductility and malleability properties are used for making utensils.  
  • Aluminum is a good conductor of electricity used for making electrical wires. 
  • Ductility and malleability property is used for making utensils.  
  1. SILVER 
  • Silver is a good conductor of electricity, used for making electrical wires. 
  • Ductility and malleability property is used for making utensils.  
  • As pieces of jewelry, due to its shiny appearance. 


Scientists use symbols to stand for each element. A symbol is the first letter of the element’s name. For example, C is the symbol for carbon. Some elements take their symbols from their Latin names. The Latin word for gold is aurum. Gold’s symbol is Au. The first letter in a chemical symbol is always capitalized. 

Nearly 150 years ago, a Russian scientist named Mendeleev made a table of the elements. He based his table on the known properties of elements. It is the periodic table. 

So far, scientists have named 112 elements. The periodic table shows how they are similar and how they are different.  

Elements in the same column have similar properties. For example, all the elements in column 17 combine easily with other elements. They often form new substances. The elements in column 18 hardly ever react.  

The rows of the table are called periods. They also group similar elements. Iron, cobalt, and nickel are magnetic. They are next to each other in the table. 



  1. Metals-Metals have some properties which distinguish them from other materials like they are hard, lustrous, malleable, ductile, sonorous and good conductors of heat and electricity. Examples of metals are iron, copper, aluminium, calcium, magnesium, etc.
  2. Malleability – The property by which they can be beaten into thin sheets is a characteristic property of metals and is called malleability.
  3. Ductility – The property of metals by which they can be drawn into wires is called ductility.
  4. Lustrous-The shine on the surface of metals is called lustre so we know that metals are lustrous.
  5. Sonority-Metals produce ringing sounds and are said to be sonorous. Non-metals are not sonorous.


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