Physical Properties of Transition Metals

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Physical Properties of Transition Metals

An element that has its 'd' orbitals partly filled, in some of its compounds.

Strictly speaking this means for example in the first row of transition elements we include titanium to copper. 'd' block elements in say the first row (period 4) include scandium to zinc. In some books the phrases 'transition metal' and 'd' block are synonymous.

The transition metals resemble each other closely in their physical properties. They are all hard, lustrous, weakly electropositive metals with high melting and boiling points.

  1. All transition metals have melting points above 1000oC. This suggests metallic bonding.
  2. 3d as well as 4s electrons available for delocalisation is the best explanation for this, since the more electrons within the 'sea' of electrons the greater the electrostatic attraction, this, of course, determines the melting point of the metal. (see Electronic configuration Learn-It).
  1. Much denser than 's' block elements.
  2. Sc - Cu gradual increase in density, this is due to an increase in nuclear charge.
  3. Metallic radius generally decreases across a period due to the increasing nuclear charge. At the same time the Relative Atomic Mass (RAM) is increasing.

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