Mammoth Memory

Properties of the transition metals

The transition metals are the large group of elements in the middle of the periodic table between groups 2 and 3.

Transition metals is the largest group of the periodic table comes after alkali metals

 

Common transition metals include zinc, copper, nickel and iron.

Transition metals all have the following properties:

  • They are hard and dense
  • They are less reactive than the group 1 & 2 metals
  • They conduct heat and electricity well
  • They have high melting points (with the notable exception of mercury)
  • They are used as catalysts in industrial processes, such as the Haber process for making ammonia
  • They form colourful ionic compounds
  • Some can form more than one ion e.g. iron can form Fe2+ ions and Fe3+

Remembering the properties of the transition metals

Because silver (Ag) is an example of a transition metal, the silverback gorilla is the focus of our story.

Once upon a time, a gorilla (silver Ag) tried to park his transit van but because there wasn’t much room, he had to lift it into the space. For a human, this would have been impossible. However, for the gorilla, because he was so hard and strong, it was no trouble at all.

Transition metals are hard and strong
Transition metals are hard and strong 

 

The man in the car next to him was not happy as the gorilla had blocked him in. “What do you think you’re doing?! Are you dense?!" he yelled.

Transition metals are dense

Transition metals are dense.

 

It didn’t end there. He got out of his car and the conversation began to get heated.

Transition metals tend to have a high melting point
Transition metals tend to have high melting points.

 

The man was so livid that he threw a punch at the gorilla. The gorilla tried to defend himself, but his reactions were too slow and he ended up getting hurt.

Transition metals are less reactive than metals in group 1 and 2
Transition metals are less reactive than metals in groups 1 and 2.

 

 

Luckily, a benevolent cheetah happened to be running past. When she saw that the gorilla had been hurt, she was keen to assist (Cat-assist, catalyst).

Transition metals are sometimes used as catalysts in industry processes
Transition metals are sometimes used as catalysts in industrial processes.

 

 

The pair’s bust-up was holding up the traffic. A bus stopped and its conductor got out to see what all the commotion was about.

Transition metals are good at conducting electricity and heat
Transition metals are good conductors of electricity and heat.

 

 

The conductor’s bus was anything but ordinary; it was painted with bright colours.

Transition metals form colourful ionic compounds such as copper compounds are blue and iron compounds are green
Transition metals form colourful ionic compounds. E.g. copper compounds are blue and iron II compounds are green.

 

 

On the top deck of the bus was a group of robots on their way to the local golf course. They each had golf bags containing one, two or three irons.

Transition metals can form more than one ion
Some transition metals can form more than one ion.

 

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