When you stare at the perodic table, you see nice whole columns of elements that are grouped together with similar properties. After group 1 and group 2, you see a big gap before you reach group 3. As you peer harder at this gap, you see elements in between group two and group three. These are the transition elements. In this section, we shall touch up on the properties of some of these elements.
The transition metals, also known as the transition elements, occupy the space between group 2 and group 3 of the perodic table. Metals such as gold, silver, copper, iron, nickel, chromium, and mercury are included in this group. The transition metals have some common characteristics among them. They include color, magnetisum, formation of complex ions, and multiple oxidation states (the number of electrons they give off varies).
All other properties have failed to have shown regularity in this group of elements. For example, from Scandium (Sc) to Vanadium (V), the melting points increase from element to element. Whereas, Chromium (Cr), an element in the same period, shows a sharp decrease in melting point from Vanadium.
Transition metals have many properties that differ from elements in the group. We shall now consider the properties of some of these elements.
Chromium has been known to prevent corrosion. In the 1996 Olympics opening cermonies, chromium was applied to trucks used in one of the many acts performed. The purpose? To reflect light to illumniate what was happening on the field. Chromium can be applied to steel objects to improve their apperance. It can be found in chromite, FeCr2O4. Chromium also accounts for the red color in rubies.
Iron is the fourth most abundant element in the earth's crust. It also forms a large part of the earth's crust and can be found in meteorites. Iron can found in hematite, Fe2O3, and magnetite, Fe3O4. Pyrite, fool's gold, also contains iron (FeS2). Iron also forms compounds with nitrogen, phosporus, and certain transition metals. Pure iron can be diffucult to extract from compounds contain iron, so most of the iron produced is in the form of steel. Steel is an alloy of iron that contains carbon and certain elements in small amounts to increase the strengh and enhance certain properties of iron.
Copper is a red, shiny metal. In cuprite, Cu2O, it gives a brilliant red color. Oddly, in copper sulfate, CuS04, copper gives the solution a blue color! However, the red color is associated with copper. Copper is also one of the few metals to be found in its free state (not in a compound). It can be drawn into wires easily, and can conduct electricity very well (second to only to silver in electrical conductivity). Copper was formerly the main component of many coins produced. However, today it is being replaced by other metals due to its small amounts in the earth's crust.
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Unit 4 - Section 1
Unit 4 - Section 3