Physical Properties of Metals
Aluminium, magnesium, silver, mercury, etc., appear white. Gold is yellow, while copper is reddish brown.
The property of a metal having a shining surface is called metallic lustre. In pure state, metals have shining surfaces. For example gold, silver and copper have metallic lustre.
Metals are malleable, which means, they can be hammered into thin sheets. Silver and gold are among the most malleable metals. They can be hammered into thin foils much thinner than paper. Aluminium and copper metals are also highly malleable metals.
Example : Silver foils are used for decorative purposes on sweets. Aluminium foils are used for packing food items. Copper sheets are used to make utensils.
- Most metals are silver or grey in colour.
- Metals have metallic lustre.
- All metals are solid, except mercury which is a liquid.
- Most metals are hard, except sodium and potassium which can be cut with a knife.
- Metals can be drawn out into wires (i.e. they are ductile).
- Metals can be pounded into thin sheets (i.e. they are malleable).
- Generally, metals do not readily break when stretched (i.e. they have high tensile strength).
- Most metals have high melting and boiling points except sodium and potassium.
- Metals are good conductors of heat and electricity.
- Metals have high densities except sodium and potassium.
- Most metals are sonorous.