Using the periodic table, one can understand that metals are substances that have high melting points, high boiling points and good conductivity of heat. These properties are associated with the fact that metal atoms have strong interactions. They are held together by an electrostatic force of attraction. As a result, metallic elements are often soft and malleable. However, metals can also be brittle. These properties depend on the way in which metals are processed.
As metals are processed, they are usually fabricated in the form of a metallic crystal. These crystals are organized in close-packed patterns. This allows them to be shaped and converted into thin wires or sheets. It also allows them to absorb heat energy when given the necessary heat. This is also the reason why metallic crystals have a high melting point and boiling point.
Metals are often made up of mixtures of other elements, including elements that do not have a metallic character. These mixtures are called alloys. These alloys share the same sea of electrons that is found in the metals. This sea of electrons provides a very high electrical conductivity for the metals.
The sea of electrons is also a major force that holds the atoms together in a metallic crystal. Each metallic atom contributes one or more electrons to the sea. The outer electrons are more distant from the nucleus of the metal and are less attracted by the nucleus. This means that they are less attracted to the nucleus and are less likely to be transferred to the nucleus of the metal.
The sea of electrons also acts as a sort of glue that holds the metals together. It also reflects photons and transfers heat. When light hits a metallic object, the electrons reflect the light. This results in the metals displaying a shine. This shine is called lustre.
Besides a high melting point and boiling point, metals are also malleable. This is because the atoms in a metallic crystal are organized in a regular way. In fact, they are usually packed in a dense lattice. The electrons in the lattice are mobile and move towards the cool end of the lattice. When a metal is shaped or deformed, the electrons are displaced and are no longer attached to the nucleus of the metal. This allows the metals to be formed into alloys.
Another property of metallic elements is the ability to withstand temperature changes. As the atomic radius of the metal increases, the attraction between the nucleus and the valence electrons decreases. This means that the electrons are easier to be lost. The increased ability to lose electrons makes metals more reactive.
Metals can be classified into four groups: noble metals, soft metals, hard metals and brittle metals. The properties of these groups vary, but they all have a strong bonding force between the atoms that make up the metal.
In addition to being malleable, metals are ductile. This means that they can be drawn and shaped without breaking. They are also nondirectional and have a high attraction force between the atoms. This makes them very easy to form alloys with other elements. Metals are also strong, meaning that they can carry larger loads by a smaller cross-section.