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Transition Metals

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A series of free IGCSE Chemistry Activities and Experiments (Cambridge IGCSE Chemistry).

Transition Metals
• Hard and strong metals e.g. iron.
• High melting points (apart from mercury).
• High density.
• Much less reactive than group 1 metal.
• Can form ions with different charges e.g. Fe2+, Fe3+, Ni2+, Ni4+
• Form coloured compounds.



Transition Metals in Ionic Formulas
Transition metals are the elements in the middle of the periodic table.
Transition metal are able to make multiple ions with different charges, so we need to use roman numeral notation to show what charge the ions have. An interesting discussion about some transition metals
Iron:
• Plentiful, inexpensive, useful.
• Important metal in the advancement of civilization (weapon, steel, etc.)

Gold:
• Rather unreactive - only dissolves in aqua regia (a mixture of hydrochloric acid and nitric acid.) • Very malleable and ductile
• Not a lot of it.
• Excellent conductivity and corrosion resistant. Ideal for high-end electronics.

Zinc:
• Used in glvanization (coating other metals with zinc to protect them from oxidation).

Tungsten:
• Highest melting point of any metal.
• Used in incandescent light bulb filaments and high temperature steel alloys (eg. rocket engine nozzles).

Mercury:
• Only liquid metal at room temperature.
• Used in thermometers, switches, lighting products, but highly toxic.
• Readily alloys with other metals in mixtures called amalgams.

Lanthanides (elements 58-71):
• Increasingly important in alternative energy, defense and communication.
• Rare earth elements = these + Sc and Y.

Actinides (elements 90-103):
• Unstable nuclei. All are radioactive.
• e.g. Uranium is the heaviest naturally occurring element. Used in nuclear fission. Check out the following lesson for a more detailed explanation on the alkali metals.
Group 1 - Alkali Metals

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