METAL

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METAL ; the most numerous class of undecompounded chemical bodies distinguished by the following general char aeters: 1. They possess a peculiar lustre, which continues in the streak and in their smallest fragments. 2. They are fusible by heat, and in fusion retain their lustre and opacity. 3. They are all (except selenium) good conductors, both of electricity and caloric. 4. Many of them may be extended under the hammer, and are called malleable; or under the rollingpress, and are called laminable; or drawn into wire, and are called ductile. 5. When their saline combinations are electrized, the metals separate at the negative pole. 6. When exposed to the action of oxygen, chlorine, or iodine, at an elevated temperature, they generally take fire, and, combining with one or other of these three elementary dissolvents, in definite proportions, are converted into earthy, or salinelooking bodies, devoid of metallic lustre and ductility, called oxides, chlorides, or iodides. 7. They are capable of combining in their melted state with each other, in almost every proportion, constituting alloys. 8. Most of them combine, in definite proportions, with sulphur and phosphorus, forming bodies frequently of a semimetallic lustre; and others unite with hydrogen, carbon and boron, giving rise to peculiar gaseous or solid compounds. Their names are as follows: 1. platinum, 2. gold, 3. silver, 4. palladium, 5. mercury, 6. copper, 7. iron, 8. tin, 9. lead, 10. nickel, 11. cadmium, 12. zinc, 13. bismuth, 14. antimony, 15. manganese, 16. cobalt, 17. tellurium, 18. arsenic, 19. chromium, 20. molybdenum, 21. tungsten, 22. columbium, 23. selenium, 24. osmium, 25. rhodium, 26. iridium, 27. uranium, 28. titanium, 29. cerium, 30. potassium, 31. sodium, 32. lithium, 33. calcium, 34. barium, 35. strontium, 36. magnesium, 37. yttrium, 38. glucinum, 39. aluminum, 40. zirconium, 41. silicium, 42. thoririum.* The first 12 are malleable, and so are the 30th, 31st, and 32d, in their congealed state. The first 16 yield oxides, which are neutral, salifiable bases. The metals 17,18,19, 20, 21, 22 and 23 are acidifiable by combination with oxygen. Of the oxides of the rest, up to the 30th, little is known. The remaining metals form, with oxygen, the alkaline and earthy bases.