Questions tagged [metal]

For questions about metals in general and their physical or chemical properties. For characteristic properties and reactions of d and f block metals specifically, use the [transition-metals] and [rare-earth-elements] tags respectively instead.

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26
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2answers
31k views

Why does the 3rd electron shell start filling up with scandium?

The electron configuration of calcium is 2, 8, 8, 2, where up to that point each shell, asides from the first shell counts up to 8 - why then does scandium have an electron configuration of 2, 8, 9, 2?...
22
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4answers
13k views

Platinum group metals: Why are platinum and palladium great catalysts and not the others?

Platinum and palladium are great catalysts. At the same time, other metals of the so-called platinum group metals are not. What are the atomic level reasons for this?
10
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1answer
9k views

Why does magnesium have an exceptionally low melting point?

Why does magnesium have a lower melting point than both calcium and beryllium? It does not seem to fit into the group trend.
194
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1answer
41k views

Why can we smell copper?

If I can smell an object, it means that molecules of it are getting separated from it, so they can reach my nose. As far as I know, metals don't sublimate, especially not in room temperature. However, ...
23
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1answer
1k views

How to think of solvated electrons?

This excellent answer explains at length what's happening in this fascinating video entitled Liquid Electrons - Periodic Table of Videos. In the screenshot below, the metallic-looking solvated ...
21
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2answers
547 views

Why are lithides not known?

In the last few decades, many alkalides - anions of alkali metals - have been synthesised. The most famous is undoubtedly that of sodium: $\ce{[Na(\text{2.2.2-cryptand})]+Na-}$, but the alkalides $\ce{...
12
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5answers
16k views

Why don't metals form covalent bonds in bulk metal?

I really don't understand why metals form metallic bonds. I mean, it makes no sense. It would make much more sense for them to form covalent bonds with themselves and have a 'pseudo-full' outer shell. ...
18
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5answers
10k views

Turn lead into gold via radioactive decay

I was looking at the isotope's table and noticed that one of lead's isotopes can actually turn into stable gold through the following mechanism: $$\ce{_{82}^{197}Pb -> _{81}^{197}Tl -> _{80}^{...
31
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7answers
107k views

Are metallic/ionic bonds weaker than covalent bonds?

In mineralogy class, I was taught that metallic and ionic bonds are weaker than covalent bonds and that's why quartz and diamond have such a high hardness value. However, in organic chemistry class, I ...
33
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2answers
31k views

Why is gold unreactive when only one electron is in the outer shell?

I've been trying to answer my (high school) daughter's questions about the periodic table, and the reactivity series, but we keep hitting gaps in my knowledge. So I showed that the noble gases have a ...
16
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1answer
1k views

What is happening in this video of solvated electrons donated from sodium in ammonia?

I just saw the Periodic Video Liquid Electrons - Periodic Table of Videos where sodium is added to liquid ammonia. The demonstration shows that even if electrons are solvated, if you have a high ...
15
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2answers
4k views

Why are noble metals more electronegative then most metals?

I was researching about electronegativity when I looked up what a graph of electronegativity within the periodic table is. And, this appeared. I scanned it, matching up everything I knew about the ...
3
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2answers
2k views

How many delocalised electrons in gold?

How can we determine how many delocalised electrons every atom of gold contributes to the 'sea of delocalised electrons'? More generally, how can we determine the number of electrons any metal ...
16
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3answers
2k views

Why does mercury form polycations?

For example, mercury (I) is $\ce{Hg2^2+}$ and not $\ce{Hg+}$. What causes the stability in covalently bonded $\ce{Hg}$ ions?
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3answers
21k views

What metals aren't dissolved in/attacked by aqua regia?

Aqua regia (Latin: Royal Water) is one of the strongest acids known in Chemistry, and is capable of dissolving gold and platinum. My copy of the Oxford science dictionary goes on to say (under the ...
23
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2answers
3k views

Why do the alkali metals form different products upon combustion in air?

From Wikipedia's article on sodium: When burned in dry air, it forms primarily sodium peroxide with some sodium oxide. We know that sodium has a strong reducing capacity, so why does it produce a ...
22
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1answer
16k views

Can metals have a net negative charge

Normal metals like sodium or Calcium have a positive charge as $\ce{Na}^+$ or $\ce{Ca}^{2+}$. Transition metals have a loot of variable oxidation states. Yesterday I read about Iridium in Wikipedia ...
7
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3answers
3k views

Why does polonium form acidic oxides?

All metals form basic oxides. Metallic oxides are basic in character. Polonium is a metal, so it should form basic oxides but it forms acidic oxides. Why are its oxides acidic in character?
10
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3answers
59k views

What is charge density?

For example, Magnesium has a higher charge density compared to Sodium, therefore its metallic lattice is stronger and it has a higher melting point. Does that mean that Magnesium has more protons and ...
13
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4answers
2k views

Do there exist metals that are composed of molecules?

Most metals are composed of pure elements or are alloys (mixtures of pure elements.) Are there metals that are composed of one type of molecule that is metallically bonded together? The difference ...
15
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3answers
2k views

Mercury metal: Not toxic?

Now I (and most of us here, I guess) have grown up around "Mercury's toxic! Avoid handling it! Do NOT screw around with this thing, if you value your life" and other equally heartening pieces of ...
13
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5answers
51k views

Which side of an aluminum foil should I put in contact with food?

Aluminum foil has two sides: a matte one, and a shiny one. My question is: which one should I put in contact with food? Criteria are lowest risk of toxicity and best qualities for food preservation (...
11
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1answer
13k views

Why does HNO3 not give off H2 when reacting with Cu?

A dilute solution of which acid is most likely to produce a reduction product other than $\ce{H_{2}}$ when it reacts with a metal? (A) $\ce{HF}$ (B) $\ce{HCl}$ (C) $\ce{HNO3} $ ...
4
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1answer
3k views

Why does sodium react with water to produce a hydroxide, while zinc produces an oxide?

Sodium belongs to the so-called active metals and produces a hydroxide on contact with water. Zinc produces an oxide. Why is it so? I was given a hint: to read up about electrochemical series. I've ...
2
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4answers
29k views

Why are there free electrons in a metal?

Recently, we covered metallic bonding in chemistry, and frankly, I understood little. I understand that: Metals bond to each other via metallic bonding Electricity can flow via free or ...
1
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1answer
561 views

How to separate lead condensate from aluminum

A common problem in shooting sports is precipitation of lead onto aluminum suppressor baffles. (The lead presumably comes from both lead styphnate priming compound and from the base and bearing ...
6
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3answers
4k views

Aqua regia and nascent chlorine

Aqua regia has the famous property of being able to dissolve noble metals, like gold and silver. I read that this has to do with the generation of nascent chlorine. How does this happen and how does ...
4
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1answer
2k views

Is chromium the shiniest metal?

I have seen many pictures of chromium, and it's pretty lustrous as I must say. Here are some examples. Is it the most lustrous metal known? Edit: By lustre, I mean suppose if we have a mirror ...
3
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1answer
381 views

Alkalide compounds

I have read much more about metallic hydrides but I am totally confused about "inverse alkali hydrides" or "hydrogen alkalides" while reading refer to this. What are these compounds and how do they ...
21
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1answer
6k views

What causes the iridescent colour in laboratory grown bismuth?

Artificially grown bismuth crystals are arguably magnificent, as seen in the image below: Image source: Minerals.net The website states that: They have hopper-like growths in pseudocubic crystals ...
10
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1answer
6k views

Why is the 5d orbital instead of the 4f orbital filled in lanthanum?

For orbitals with the same value of $n + l$ (e.g. the $\mathrm{3d}$ and $\mathrm{4p}$ orbitals), we usually expect the orbital with the lower value of $n$ to be filled earlier. Hence, for example, the ...
22
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4answers
25k views

Are there colorful metals besides gold and copper?

Are there yellow metals besides gold? Are there metals with color different than yellow and grey/silver or reddish?
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4answers
4k views

Which electrodes do not corrode at all?

I had used spare pieces of metal to perform electrolysis. They all had the disadvantage that they corrode when used as anode - and some of the oxides are toxic (copper, chromium). I've found that ...
9
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1answer
5k views

Treatment of copper (0) with sodium hydroxide

I recently made self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) of alkanethiols on a copper substrate. After scrubbing off the $\ce{Cu2O}$ top layer and rubbing the surface with ether and ethanol, I let my copper ...
8
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1answer
2k views

Is metallic sodium a strong base?

Chemical properties: Sodium metal and sodium amide ($\ce{NaNH2}$ ) are strong bases. They react with ethyne to form sodium acetylide with the liberation of hydrogen gas. How can a metal considered a ...
7
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2answers
664 views

What's the type of bonding in La@C60?

Endohedral fullerene is the name given to a brand new chemical species with the following attributes: A metal, usually a transition metal, is "trapped" inside the fullerene, like $\ce{C60}$ and $\...
5
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1answer
2k views

Gallium-induced structural failure of aluminium

I have seen youtube videos of people treating some aluminium object with liquid gallium and after letting it sit for a while, they are able to break up the aluminium into tiny little pieces with their ...
5
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1answer
817 views

Formation of Bands in Semi-Conductors

At school, we are learning about semi-conductors and their applications in modern electronics. One of the features of semi-conductors is that there is a small energy gap between the valence and ...
4
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5answers
33k views

Which has more metallic character: aluminium or magnesium?

Which element has more metallic character - aluminium or magnesium? I know that metallic character decreases along a period (from left to right) and increases down a group. Aluminium comes after ...
15
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4answers
10k views

How could I cause metal to rust rapidly?

I'm writing a novel set in the mid-nineteenth century. One of my characters needs to cause an iron padlock to rust rapidly, ideally within a matter of hours. The lock doesn't need to rust away ...
12
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1answer
477 views

Jahn-Teller Metal : The new state of matter

Recently it came in the news that scientists have discovered a new state of matter called Jahn-Teller metal. I tried reading up on it but couldn't understand it clearly. Please explain in simple ...
11
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4answers
14k views

What is the product of a copper and vinegar reaction?

I put a copper wire through a hole in the cap of a water bottle, filled the water bottle ~ half way full with vinegar, and left it over night. The part of the wire inside the bottle that wasn't in ...
10
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2answers
15k views

Why is copper a better conductor than iron?

So metals are good conductors as the electron in their outer shell is loose and can plunge out of the atom with the application of the slightest force(voltage). Silver is the best metallic conductor, ...
7
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2answers
637 views

How to detect lead paint on a bicycle?

Recently I started renovating a bicycle. The frame has been painted probably over 30 years ago, and despite holding well, big patches of rust are showing. So it's time to give the bike a new paint job....
6
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1answer
363 views

Is there any way to refine Feldspar?

Feldspars are mostly composed of three compounds: KAlSi$_3$O$_8$ NaAlSi$_3$O$_8$ CaAl$_2$Si$_2$O$_8$ I notice they each have Aluminum. Feldspar is far more common than Bauxite (the only Aluminum ore ...
6
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4answers
22k views

Why is zinc more reactive than copper?

In terms of electronegativity, from what I understand electronegativity increases going across the period, so surely this should mean that zinc less readily loses its outer shell electrons than copper?...
5
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2answers
2k views

Why does hot steam produce MgO instead of Mg(OH)2?

Background research Magnesium hydroxide exists naturally as brucite (source: wiki) Passing hot steam over magnesium produces magnesium oxide (source: Edexcel's June 2014 Unit 2 exam (CH02_01): ...
4
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2answers
814 views

Metallic bonding and covalent boding

Why do metallic bonds have delocalized electrons, whereas covalent bonds only share electrons? Does it have something to with the atomic masses of the individual non/metals or something else? I'm ...
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1answer
3k views

Why alkali metals have bcc structure?

It is well known that metals are typically, well, metallic and usually favor the most dense packing, like hcp or fcc cells. This may be easily rationalized as dense packing of metal ions in a sea of ...
16
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3answers
5k views

Why did the salt on the skin of my turkey react with the aluminum foil it was touching?

I sprinkled salt on my turkey skin and left it to dry out over night. It was covered with aluminum foil. The next morning the aluminum foil had holes ‘burnt’ in it and the turkey skin turned silver at ...