Elements are classified broadly into two categories on the basis of properties:
Metals: Iron, Zinc, Copper, Aluminium etc.
Non – metals: Chlorine, Nitrogen, Hydrogen, Oxygen, Sulphur etc.
Apart from metals and non-metals, some elements show properties of both metals and non –metals,
e.g. Silicon, Arsenic, Germanium.They are called metalloids.

Comparison of physical properties of metals and non – metals:-


PropertyMetalsNon-Metals
Physical StateMetals are solid at room temperature. Except mercury and gallium.Non-metals generally exist as solids and gases, except Bromine.
Melting and boiling pointsMetals generally have high m.pt and b.pt except gallium and cesium.Non-metals have low m.pt and b.pt except diamond and graphite.
DensityGenerally high.Generally low.
Malleability and DuctilityMalleable and ductile.Neither malleable nor ductile.
Electrical and thermal conductivityGood conductors of heat and electricity.Generally poor conductors of heat and electricity except graphite.
LusterPoses shining luster.Do not have luster except iodine.
Sonorous soundGive sonorous sound when struck.Does not give sonorous sound.
HardnessGenerally hard except Na, KSolid non-metals are generally soft except diamond.

 

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