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Only eight metals were known to ancient people (ashtadhatu) - copper, silver, gold, iron, tin, lead, mercury and antimony. Several hundred years ago, alchemists wanted to prepare precious metals like gold from base metals like iron, copper or lead. The Ashoka Pillar near Qutab Minar at Mehrauli, New Delhi, stands testimony to the expertise our ancestors had in the metallurgy of iron. Today we know of about 80 metals, their properties and uses. Metals are used for the construction of bridges, trains, ships, automobiles, etc. Metals are the elements which form positive ions by losing electrons.


Example : sodium is a metal which forms positive ion Na+ by losing an electron.


Na Na+ + e

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