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Intro to physical properties of metals

Let's see what are some common physical properties of metals. Created by Sal Khan.

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Video transcript

what I want to do in this video is discuss what it means to be a metal or metallic in nature so first let's just think about the the metals that we encounter in everyday life or based on our experience the things that we associate with being a metal so the elements that really jump out at us at metals we always refer to hey that's a metal or that's metallic are things like iron iron or nickel or copper or silver or gold or aluminum or at least for me these are the ones that immediately pop out hey these are I've seen these things before and I they all feel like metals to me but I also think about what is what what's true about these things and as we'll see many other elements on the periodic table that give them this metallic nature what do we associate with having a metallic nature well what is that these things can be shiny these things tend to be shiny that they're just kind of all gloss when light shines on it they're not just kind of a matte color they'd look metallic literally that's the sometimes a word that's used where it has a metallic shininess to it another thing that we associate with it is that they tend to be they tend to be fairly dense if I take a metal a block of a metal and if I drop it into water I imagine that sinking that it's not floating on top of the water we also imagine them having a very high melting point that they tend to be solid at room temperature solid at room room temperature and as we'll see this is true of all metals except for one of them which is mercury which is shiny but at room temperature as you might be familiar is in its liquid in its liquid form now the other things that I associate with a metal is that I can make things out of them pretty I can bend them and shape them in different ways if I think of aluminum foil I can bend it it's not gonna it's not just going to crack I can brand it and put into different shapes even things like iron it might take a lot of pressure to do it but they're bendable they're malleable and indefinitely you know things like gold and silver and copper you can actually mold into different types of jewelry if you if you put pressure on it it's more likely to Bend then crack and just kind of shear off so let's put malleability they're malleable malleable and and the other thing that I associate with metals is that they conduct electricity well conduct conduct electricity a place that you'll see metal in your life is if you open up your electronics you'll see wires that might be made out of copper or you might have components that are made out of other metals like gold or silver or whatever else so let's given that you know this is these are some of the properties that we associate with metals let's think about what's happening at the atomic level to give these elements this these properties the way I think about it let's just admit let's just go with copper for a second let's just imagine a block of kamar copper at the atomic level so let's say this is one copper nucleus right over there and it has it's sea of electrons it has it's sea of electrons just like or not at sea of electrons it has all of its electrons and their various orbitals we'll talk about sea of electrons in a second but this is kind of it's cloud of electrons I should say so this is electron cloud so the electrons are just jumping around in this cloud it's really a probability density or it's there's kind of a certain probability that could be at any point in that cloud and so let's imagine a big solid piece of copper so you would have a bunch of these you would have a bunch of these all together all forming the solid and what allows metals to be malleable to do things like conduct electrons a conduct electricity which is the movement of electrons is essentially for the for them that they're very willing to share electrons with each other by sharing electrons so you can imagine this is one copper atom that's another let's say they're sharing some electrons that's what allows the electricity or this flow of electrons to happen if these electrons are loosely bound then if you put a potential difference of voltage let's say that you put a potential difference so that this side is more negative and then this side is more positive then the electrons are going to want to get away from the negative charge move towards the positive charge and if they're relatively freely bound they can kind of move from one cloud to the next and you kind of end up having what's often called AC electrons let me write that down you have a sea of electrons of electrons which makes which would make this conductive and that's why you see so much wire made out of copper and the sea of electrons is also what makes it malleable if someone were to put if someone you know on this side would have put a lot of pressure this way and on that side put a lot of pressure that way things that are rigid would just kind of crack and break right would just break right over there but because you have the sea of electrons it allows it to be malleable this part might just bend down a little bit that part might Bend up but they're not going to the metallic bond is not going to break and so given that this metallic nature really comes from the willingness of these atoms to share electrons with each other to create the sea of electrons I encourage you to pause this video and think about which which atoms on the periodic table which elements are more likely to do that to share electrons with others and with each other