Transition Metals vs Metals
The elements in the periodic table can be divided mainly into two; as metals and nonmetals. Among these, most are metals, and there is less number of nonmetal elements in the p block.
Metals are known to human for a very long time. There are evidences to prove about metal usage back in 6000 BC. Gold and copper were the first metals to be discovered. These were used to make tools, jewelry, statues, etc. Since then, for a longer period only few other metals (17) were discovered. Now we are familiar with 86 different types of metals. Metals are very important because of their unique characteristics. Usually metals are hard and strong (there are exceptions to this such as sodium. Sodium can be cut by a knife). Mercury is the metal, which is in the liquid state. Besides mercury, all the other metals are found in the solid state, and it is hard to break them or change their shape compared to other nonmetal elements. Metals have a shiny appearance. Most of them have a silvery shine (except gold and copper). Since some metals are very reactive with the atmospheric gases like oxygen, they tend to get dull colors over time. This is mainly due to the formation of metal oxide layers. On the other hand, metals like gold and platinum are very stable and nonreactive. Metals are Malleable and ductile, which allows them to be used for making certain tools. Metals are atoms, which can form cations by removing electrons. So they are electro-positive. The type of bond formed between metal atoms is called metallic bonding. Metals release electrons in their outer shells and these electrons are dispersed between metal cations. Therefore, they are known as a sea of delocalized electrons. The electrostatic interactions between the electrons and cations are called metallic bonding. The electrons can move; therefore, metals have the ability to conduct electricity. Also, they are good thermal conductors. Because of the metallic bonding, metals have an ordered structure. High melting points and boiling points of metals are also due to this strong metallic bonding. Moreover, metals have a higher density than water. Elements in group IA and IIA are light metals. They have some variations from the above described general features of metal.
According to the IUPAC definition, transition metal is an element whose atom has an incomplete d sub-shell, or which can give rise to cations with an incomplete d sub-shell”. We normally take d block elements in the periodic table as transition metals. All these have characteristics of a metal, but they differ slightly from the metals in the s block and p block. The reason for these differences is mainly due to the d electrons. Transition metals can have various oxidation states in compounds. Often, their reactivity is lower compared to other metals (for example metals in the s block). Transition metals have the ability to form colored compounds due to d-d electronic transitions. Moreover, they can form paramagnetic compounds. Besides these properties, they have general metallic properties due to the metallic bonding. They are good electricity and heat conductors, have high melting points, boiling points and densities, etc.
What is the difference between Transition Metals and Metals?
• Transition metals belong to the metal group.
• d block elements are, generally, known as transition metals.
• Transition metals are less reactive compared to other metals.
• Transition metals can form colored compounds.
• Transition metals can have various oxidation states within compounds, but other metals can have limited number of oxidation states (most of the time one state).