Problem: At room temperature, a certain element is found to be shiny, silver-colored solid that is a poor conductor of electricity. When a sample of the element is hit with a hammer, it shatters.Is the element likely to be a metal, a nonmetal, or a semimetal?

FREE Expert Solution

We have to determine the type of element based on given description.


We have to choose between a metal, nonmetal and semimetal (metalloid).

Semimetals are the elements whose properties are intermediate between metals and nonmetals.


The physical properties of metals are:

State: Metals are usually solids at room temperature. An exception is mercury which is a liquid metal.

Luster: Metals are shiny in their appearance.

Conductivity: Metals are good conductors of heat and electricity due to the presence of free electrons.

Brittle/Ductile: Metals are ductile. They do not break or shatter.

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Problem Details

At room temperature, a certain element is found to be shiny, silver-colored solid that is a poor conductor of electricity. When a sample of the element is hit with a hammer, it shatters.

Is the element likely to be a metal, a nonmetal, or a semimetal?

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