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I searched in the internet but most of them said that there are 38 transition metals. But our text book says that group 12 or the group of zinc CAN'T BE COUNTED as transition metals. Which already puts the number to 37? Moreover Scandium, La and Ac also can't be counted as transition metals. That puts the number to 34. Yttrium being in the same group as Sc should also be cancelled as transition metals making the number 33. These are all my thoughts and haven't been varied by any reliable sources. And also it's based on our text book. So I would like to know what is wrong with these thoughts.

Note: The book considers thorium a d block element. Thus according to the book the number of d block elements is 41.

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  • $\begingroup$ In my point of view, the transition elements are all those belonging to the "small columns" of the table, whatever their chemical properties. So, they contain atoms from Sc to Zn, and the same in the next lines. $\endgroup$ – Maurice Dec 29 '19 at 14:15
  • $\begingroup$ AFAIK, whole group 12 doesn't fit criteria for belonging to transition elements. Why isn't Sc or Y transition element? $\endgroup$ – Zenix Dec 29 '19 at 14:24
  • $\begingroup$ According to definition ... To become transition element an elements STABLE ION must have unpaired electron in d orbital. The stable ion of Sc is 3+. In this ion there is no electron in d orbital. For this reason, Sc and Y is not transition element. This is the theory given in our book. $\endgroup$ – Sadatul Islam Sadi Dec 29 '19 at 14:49
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    $\begingroup$ Related: chemistry.stackexchange.com/questions/119066/…. Note that the emergence of organometallic chemistry enters into the reckoning, as demonstrated with scandium. $\endgroup$ – Oscar Lanzi Dec 29 '19 at 15:35
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Shakespeare apparently said "What’s in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other word would smell as sweet." Rule no. 1, don't trust the internet until and unless you have some idea about the credentials of the website (and this comes with experience).

The usage of the term transition metal is nothing but historical. You can stick to IUPACs definition (https://goldbook.iupac.org/terms/view/T06456)

An element whose atom has an incomplete d sub-shell, or which can give rise to cations with an incomplete d sub-shell.

By that zinc should not be a transition element. The definition has nothing to do with paired electrons as you wrote in the comments.

Look at the history of word, this is from 18th century from the unabridged OED.

transition element n. Chemistry [after Russian perexodnyj èlement (see transitional element n. at transitional adj. and n. Compounds)] (originally, now historical) any of the nine metallic elements forming group VIII of Mendeleev's periodic table; (now) any of a large class of metallic elements occupying the central block of the periodic table (groups IV b–VIII, I b, and II b, or 4–12, the d-block), which are characterized by partly filled d orbitals, commonly show variable valency and an ability to form coordination compounds, and form many coloured compounds; often extended to include also those elements having partly filled f orbitals (the lanthanides and actinides).

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  • $\begingroup$ Doesn't all group 12 elements (not just Zn) fail to satisfy the definition of transition elements? $\endgroup$ – Zenix Dec 29 '19 at 16:27
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    $\begingroup$ Right, as per IUPAC, Group 12 is not a transition metal group. $\endgroup$ – M. Farooq Dec 29 '19 at 16:33

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