Science Study Notes on Metals and Non-Metals for CTET & TET Exam

By Ashish Kumar|Updated : October 1st, 2020

Here in this article, we are going to discuss a new topic Metals and Non-Metals. It's an important topic for the Science section of CTET Paper-2. Elements may be classified as either metals or non-metals, based on their properties. Let's take a look at the definition and the differences between metals and nonmetals. Questions on this topic are generally asked in the examination so study the concepts carefully.



Most elements are metals. On the periodic table, metals are separated from non-metals by a zig-zag line stepping through carbon, phosphorus, selenium, iodine and radon. These elements and those to the right of them are non-metals. Elements just to the left of the line may be termed metalloids or semimetals and have properties both of metals and non-metals.

Non - Metals

Non-metals are the elements in groups 14-16 of the periodic table. Non-metals are not able to conduct electricity or heat very well. As opposed to metals, non-metallic elements are very brittle, and cannot be rolled into wires or pounded into sheets. The non-metals exist in two of the three states of matter at room temperature: gases (such as oxygen) and solids (such as carbon). The non-metals have no metallic lustre and do not reflect light. They have oxidation numbers of ±4, -3, and -2.

The physical and chemical properties of the metals and non-metals:

Metal Physical Properties:

  • Lustrous (shiny)
  • Good conductors of heat and electricity
  • High melting point
  • High density (heavy for their size)
  • Malleable (can be hammered into sheets)
  • Ductile (can be drawn into wires)
  • Usually solid at room temperature ( mercury is an exception)
  • Opaque as a thin sheet (can't see through metals)
  • Metals are sonorous, they make a bell-like sound when struck

Non-metal Physical Properties

  • They are not lustrous (dull appearance)
  • They are poor conductors of heat and electricity
  • Non-ductile solids
  • Brittle solids
  • They may be solids, liquids or gases at room temperature
  • nonmetals are not sonorous

Metal Chemical Properties

  • They have 1-3 electrons in the outer shell of each metal atom
  • They corrode easily (e.g., damaged by oxidation such as tarnish or rust)
  • They easily lose electrons
  • They form oxides that are basic in nature
  • They have lower electro-negativities
  • They are good at reducing agents

Nonmetal Chemical Properties

  • Usually have 4-8 electrons in their outer shell
  • They readily gain or share valence electrons
  • They form oxides that are acidic in nature
  • They have higher electro-negativities
  • They are good oxidizing agents


  • Metallurgy is the science of extraction of metals from their ores and their purification.
  • Minerals are naturally occurring substances containing one or more elements or their compounds.
  • Ore is a mineral from which one or more metals can be extracted profitably.
  • Metallurgical processes:- It consists of three main steps. They are 

i) The concentration of the ore ii) Reduction iii) Refining

  • The concentration of the ore:- It is the removal of impurities from the ore.
  • Reduction:- it is the process of obtaining the metal from its compound.
  • Refining:- is the process of purification of impure metals to obtain pure metal.

Uses of metals:-

  • Iron: Used for making pins, nails, nuts, bolts, tools, machines, construction of buildings, bridges etc.
  • Aluminium: Used for making utensils, wires, furniture, parts of aircraft, vehicles, machines, for packing food and medicines etc.
  • Copper: Used for making wires, vessels, electric gadgets etc.
  • Gold: Used for making jewellery, coins medals etc
  • Silver: Used for making jewellery, Coins, medals etc.
  • Platinum: Used for making jewellery, electric gadgets, plugs in vehicles etc.
  • Sodium: Compounds are used as common salt, chemicals etc.
  • Calcium: Compounds are used for making cement, glass etc.

Uses of non-metals:-

  • Sulfur: Used for making sulphuric acid, salts of metals etc.
  • Oxygen:- Used for respiration by living things, burning of fuels etc.
  • Nitrogen:- Used for making ammonia which is used for making fertilizers.
  • Hydrogen:- Used for making ammonia which is used for making fertilizers, as fuel in rockets, for welding etc.
  • Chlorine:- Used as an antiseptic, to kill germs in the water.
  • Iodine:- Used as tincture iodine which is an antiseptic.




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