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Published: Kem. Ind. 67 (11-12) (2018) 527–531
Paper reference number: KUI-18/2017
Paper type: Professional paper / Chemistry in Teaching
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How to Understand the Concept of Metal

N. Raos


The concept of metal is not, strictly speaking, scientific (chemical) but traditional, arising from the ancient miners’ tradition and the search for the artificial production of gold, the most perfect metal of the alchemists. Closer analysis reveals, however, that there are no universal properties of metals, and that virtually every chemical element could be regarded as metal as well as nonmetal. The metalic character of an element depends on its chemical combination. This is visible from the comparison of “metallic” compounds of nonmetals and “nonmetallic” compounds of metals, as well as from the nature of the chemical bond (covalent/ionic), as deduced from the difference in electronegativity of the constituting atoms.

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chemical education, electronegativity, alotrophic modifications, history of chemistry