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Describe Group 0, Metals and Non-Metals

In this worksheet, students will learn about the properties of Group 0 elements (also called Noble Gases), and the difference between metals and non-metals. They will also learn how these are explained in terms of electron structures.

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Group 0, or the noble gases

The noble gases are found on the far right hand side of the periodic table. This group is called group 0.

It's neat that they are in group 0, because "nothing" describes what these elements do very well. The noble gases- helium, neon, argon, krypton, xenon and radon- are all very unreactive. This means that they are very hard for chemists to detect. (For example, the list of elements Newlands used for his octaves model went straight from hydrogen to lithium, missing out helium, and fluorine to sodium, missing out neon.) The main way that noble gases are used is to make an inert atmosphere. "Inert" means "does not undergo chemical reactions". For example, light bulbs are filled with argon. This is because the thin wire in the middle of a light bulb gets very hot when the light is switched on, and would burn away if there were oxygen inside the light bulb.

The reason that noble gases are unreactive is because they all have a stable outermost electron shell. Here's the electron structure of argon;

Helium has 2 electrons, filling the first shell. Neon is 2.8. Argon is 2.8.8. All the noble gas elements have 8 electrons in their outermost shell, so they do not need to gain or lose electrons. As a result, they do not make molecules; we find them as single atoms instead. The other name for this is monatomic. They also (with very few exceptions) do not undergo chemical reactions.

The only interesting patterns are their density and boiling point. As you go down Group 0, the gases get denser. That makes sense, because the individual atoms have more particles, and so more mass. As you go down Group 0, the boiling temperature increases, but is always very low. It makes sense that Group 0 elements have very low boiling points; the forces between the atoms are very weak, so it doesn't take much energy to break the atoms apart. Elements that are lower in the periodic table have heavier atoms, so it needs a bit more energy to make the atoms move freely.

Metals vs non-metals

The properties of different Groups of the periodic table depend a lot on the electrons; that's why it's so important to think about where the electrons are in different atoms and ions. Look at the whole periodic table again;

The elements shaded blue are all have the properties of metals; they are shiny, they conduct heat and electricity, they are ductile. In terms of electrons, they all become stable by losing electrons.

The elements shaded yellow all have the properties of non-metals; their solids are dull, brittle and poor conductors, and many of them are liquids or gases at room temperature. Except for the noble gases, they all become stable by gaining electrons.

In between the two coloured blocks, there is a diagonal line shaded grey. These elements are called metalloids. Depending on the exact situation, they can either gain or lose electrons. This means that they can either behave like metals or non-metals. This property means that metalloids are very useful- electronic circuits are made of silicon, because it can easily be switched between metal-like and non-metal-like states.

All these ideas about the periodic table end up depending on the electron arrangements of different elements. Atoms will gain or lose electrons to achieve a stable outer shell; that's usually when there are eight electrons in the outer shell. The reason that noble gases are so unreactive is that they have a stable outer shell already.

Which of these words or phrases are linked to Group 0 of the periodic table?

gas at room temperature

metallic

unreactive

solid at room temperature

reactive

monatomic

Which of these elements are noble gases?

argon

boron

helium

neon

nobelium

xenon

Look at these pictures of the periodic table. Which one has Group 0 highlighted?

A
B
C

 

A

B

C

What does "inert" mean?

not dangerous to humans

does not undergo chemical reactions

natural

Which gas is placed inside light bulbs, and why?

not dangerous to humans

does not undergo chemical reactions

natural

This table shows the boiling temperatures for some Group 0 elements;

Element Boiling point (° C)
Helium -268
Neon -246
Argon -186
Krypton  
Xenon -108

Which of these is the best estimate of the boiling point of krypton?

-200 °C

-175 °C

-150 °C

-125 °C

Look at this periodic table;

Match the colours on this diagram with what they mean.

Column A

Column B

blue
metalloids
grey
metals
yellow
non-metals

Which of these words describe metals, and which describe non-metals?

 MetalNon-metal
Brittle
Conducts electricity
Ductile
Dull
Shiny

Use the words gaining and losing to complete this sentence.

 MetalNon-metal
Brittle
Conducts electricity
Ductile
Dull
Shiny

What is the name of elements which can show metallic or non-metallic properties, depending on the exact situation?

  • Question 1

Which of these words or phrases are linked to Group 0 of the periodic table?

CORRECT ANSWER
gas at room temperature
unreactive
monatomic
EDDIE SAYS
All the Group 0 elements are unreactive and gases at room temperature. They don't make molecules, so the gas is made of single atoms moving around.
  • Question 2

Which of these elements are noble gases?

CORRECT ANSWER
argon
helium
neon
xenon
EDDIE SAYS
The noble gases are helium, neon, argon, krypton, xenon and radon. There is an element called nobelium, but it's a very radioactive metal.
  • Question 3

Look at these pictures of the periodic table. Which one has Group 0 highlighted?

A
B
C

 

CORRECT ANSWER
C
EDDIE SAYS
The noble gases- Group 0- are on the far right hand side of the periodic table.
  • Question 4

What does "inert" mean?

CORRECT ANSWER
does not undergo chemical reactions
EDDIE SAYS
"Inert" is another way of saying "unreactive". This does not mean "safe"; if you were trapped in a room full of helium, you would die, because you need to breathe in oxygen to survive.
  • Question 5

Which gas is placed inside light bulbs, and why?

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Inert atmospheres are used to prevent unwanted chemical reactions happening with reactive gases in the air- especially oxygen. As well as in light bulbs, they are a way of putting out fires without using water.
  • Question 6

This table shows the boiling temperatures for some Group 0 elements;

Element Boiling point (° C)
Helium -268
Neon -246
Argon -186
Krypton  
Xenon -108

Which of these is the best estimate of the boiling point of krypton?

CORRECT ANSWER
-150 °C
EDDIE SAYS
Following the trend, the boiling point of krypton is likely to be midway between those of argon and xenon, which is -147 °C. The actual boiling point is -153 °C, so this is a pretty good estimate.
  • Question 7

Look at this periodic table;

Match the colours on this diagram with what they mean.

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

blue
metals
grey
metalloids
yellow
non-metals
EDDIE SAYS
Remember this as metals on the left, non-metals on the right, metalloids in the middle. The actual colours aren't official.
  • Question 8

Which of these words describe metals, and which describe non-metals?

CORRECT ANSWER
 MetalNon-metal
Brittle
Conducts electricity
Ductile
Dull
Shiny
EDDIE SAYS
A good way to do properties questions is to think about a specific example of each group. So for metals, you could think about copper. For non-metals, you could think about carbon. Once you have an example in mind, you can identify the right properties.
  • Question 9

Use the words gaining and losing to complete this sentence.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
This idea comes up again when you think about ionic compounds; the metal loses electrons and the non-metal gains electrons. A lot of chemistry becomes easier once you have the hang of what the electrons are doing.
  • Question 10

What is the name of elements which can show metallic or non-metallic properties, depending on the exact situation?

CORRECT ANSWER
metalloid
metalloids
EDDIE SAYS
Metalloids are right on the boundary between metals and non-metals, which is why they can be tipped into showing either set of properties.
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