My question is, if "gas" belongs to "State of Matter" then what does "Metal" belong to.

Gas can be substituted with any state of matter(in the analogy); metal can be substituted with metalloid or nonmetal(in the analogy). I've researched this and I can't seem to find an answer to this. So, this could read as "if 'solid' belongs to 'State of Matter', then what does 'nonmetal' belong to'"?

I'm not trying to assert that metal is a state of matter. As most of y'all (hopefully all) know, the elements on the periodic table can be a metal, metalloid, or nonmetal. Would "Metal" belong to "Metal Status"? I'm asking because I'm writing a program to represent the PeriodicTable and I need an appropriate name for my variable. I may just opt for "Metal Status".

  • $\begingroup$ Possibly relevant: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Periodic_table_(metals_and_non-metals) $\endgroup$ – David H Jan 21 '14 at 7:14
  • $\begingroup$ Maybe something like "a variety of solid, which is a state of matter". $\endgroup$ – stochastic13 Jan 21 '14 at 7:36
  • $\begingroup$ @SatwikPasani Calling metals a variety of solids runs into problems. Does gold stop being a metal if you heat it up past its melting point? And then there's mercury which is already liquid at standard temperature and pressure. $\endgroup$ – David H Jan 21 '14 at 8:05
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    $\begingroup$ @DavidH I would prefer to stay pragmatic. Similar situation applies to liquid nitrogen, which is gas, but liquid. Words are meant to make communication easier, not the opposite way. $\endgroup$ – ssavec Jan 21 '14 at 10:37

"Metal" is a classification used by chemists and usually means something along the lines of "this electrically conductive, usually solid element that is deformable".

The other way around: Chemists use "gas" to refer to a state of matter, not some defined gas (for example the atmosphere).

Putting these two together: "Metal" belongs to the periodic table of elements, while "solid", "liquid", "gas" and "plasma" are merely words to describe what state the element or compound is in. It is possible to have liquid, solid or even gaseous metals.

Edit: If you want a name for a variable that is either in the state Metal, Half-Metal or Metalloid and Non-Metal, I'm not sure such a name even exists. Feel free to make one up that suits your needs, comment your code sufficiently and it will not be a problem. "Metallicness" or something along those lines would be my choice.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for answer my question; I'm not sure what VINAY was answering. I was asking this question mainly because I was trying to come up with a suitable name for a variable for my variable and I didn't know if there was an official classification name that covered metal, nonmetal, and metalloid. $\endgroup$ – Crysis Jan 22 '14 at 3:31
  • $\begingroup$ If you want some official statement, it's always good to check the IUPAC Gold Book where I've found a reference to metals being characterized by their conductivity. $\endgroup$ – tschoppi Jan 22 '14 at 11:12
  • $\begingroup$ I have edited in an answer that I think is what you're looking for. $\endgroup$ – tschoppi Jan 23 '14 at 6:15
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the edit. I might stick with metalStatus. I do like metallicness, and it's probably a better name if you consider technicalities, but it seems more like a gradient-like name. I hear metallicness and I hear is this 0% metal, 50% metal, 75% metal, or 100% metal. It's not a big deal, but I think I'll keep 'metalStatus'. Thank you for your edit, though. $\endgroup$ – Crysis Jan 26 '14 at 17:30

What is Metal?

A metal (from Greek "μέταλλον" – métallon, "mine, quarry, metal") is a solid material (an element, compound, or alloy) that is typically hard, opaque, shiny, and features good electrical and thermal conductivity.

What is State of matter?

In physics, a state of matter is one of the distinct forms that different phases of matter take on. Four states of matter are observable in everyday life: solid, liquid, gas, and plasma.

From the above definitions, it is clear that gas is a state of matter and metal is also the state of matter with certain specific properties. The distinction is that, all solids are not metals but all metals are solids.

An element or compound or alloy is said to be metal if it is

  • solid
  • hard
  • opaque
  • shiny
  • good electrical and thermal conductor.

Gold has all the above properties at standard conditions for temperature and pressure, it can be regarded as metal only at that temperature and pressure.

Most of the elements, compounds, or alloys are regarded as metal, at standard conditions for temperature and pressure.

But, mercury is regarded as metal only below the temperature of $-38.83$ degree celsius and is not regarded as metal at standard conitions for temperature and pressure. Thus, we say mercury as the only metal which exist as liquid at standard conditions for temperature and pressure. Remember it is wrong to say mercury as the only liquid metal.

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    $\begingroup$ What you're basically saying is that "metal" is also a state of matter? I don't find that category on this comprehensive Wikipedia article... $\endgroup$ – tschoppi Jan 21 '14 at 12:33
  • $\begingroup$ Any element or compound or alloy you make think, it will be one of the state of matter. Metal is also the solid state of matter with certain specific properties said above. I hope that cleared your doubt. $\endgroup$ – Immortal Player Jan 21 '14 at 12:42
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    $\begingroup$ So you would argue that liquid gold (or mercury at standard conditions for that matter) in fact is not a metal? Although it still is opaque and a good electrical and thermal conductor? A Google Scholar search yields 282'000 results, so I suggest you rethink your position. $\endgroup$ – tschoppi Jan 21 '14 at 12:47
  • $\begingroup$ Yes I argue that liquid gold (or mercury at standard conditions) is not a metal. Would you like to prove the definition of wikipedia wrong? $\endgroup$ – Immortal Player Jan 21 '14 at 12:56
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    $\begingroup$ "Would you like to prove the definition of wikipedia wrong?" I cringed hard at this. $\endgroup$ – LordStryker Jan 23 '14 at 13:23

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