Monday, December 26, 2011

Behind the Metallic Curtain

An imaginary line runs down columns and across rows in the periodic table, dividing metals from non-metals:

The diagonal line can be thought of a boundary demarcating a section of elements equidistant from Fluorine, the epicenter of electronegativity:

Roughly, the "blue" elements closest to queen Fluorine (upper right) and fanning out across the territory up to and bordering the metallic curtain are non-metals; those beyond (yellow) are deemed metallic. But what makes a metal a metal and vice versa? What is the essence of "being metallic?"


  1. There are diagonal ripple effects further out and elsewhere in the table.

  2. What makes 'em different? Shininess from swimming in a sea of electrons.

    At least, that's the theory I remember.