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    In chemistry, a nonmetal (or a non-metal) is a chemical element that generally lacks a predominance of metallic properties; they range from colorless gases (like hydrogen) to shiny solids (like carbon, as graphite ). The electrons in nonmetals behave differently from those in metals.

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  2. The nonmetallic elements are sometimes instead divided into two to six (or seven) alternative classes or sets according to, for example, electronegativity; the relative homogeneity of the halogens; molecular structure; the peculiar nature of hydrogen; the corrosive nature of oxygen and the halogens; their respective groups; and variations …

  3. Nonmetal s or non-metal s are chemical elements which do not have the properties of a metal. They gain electrons when reacting with a metal. They are generally not lustrous and are bad conductors of heat and electricity. Some are gases including: hydrogen, helium, oxygen, nitrogen, fluorine, neon or radon and others.

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  5. Typical nonmetals have a dull, coloured or colourless appearance; are brittle when solid; are poor conductors of heat and electricity; and have acidic oxides. Most or some elements in each category share a range of other properties; a few elements have properties that are either anomalous given their category, or otherwise extraordinary. Contents

    • Overview
    • Antiquity: C, S
    • 17th century: P
    • 18th century: H, O, N, Cl
    • Late 19th century: He, F, Ar, Kr, Ne, Xe

    Most nonmetallic elements were discovered after the freezing of mercury in 1759 by the German-Russian physicist Braun and the Russian polymath Lomonosov. Before then, carbon, sulfur and antimony were known in antiquity. Arsenic and phosphorus were discovered in the middle ages and in the Renaissance, respectively. In the ensuing century and a half,...

    Carbon and sulfur were known in antiquity. The earliest known use of charcoal dates to around 3750 BCE. The Egyptians and Sumerians employed it for the reduction of copper, zinc, and tin ores in the manufacture of bronze. Diamonds were probably known from as early as 2500 BCE. The first true chemical analyses were made in the 18th century; Lavoisie...

    Phosphorus was prepared from urine, by Hennig Brand, in 1669.

    Hydrogen: Cavendish, in 1766, was the first to distinguish hydrogen from other gases, although Paracelsus around 1500, Robert Boyle, and Joseph Priestley had observed its production by reacting strong acids with metals. Lavoisier named it in 1793. Oxygen: Carl Wilhelm Scheele obtained oxygen by heating mercuric oxide and nitrates in 1771, but did n...

    Helium: In 1868, Janssen and Lockyer independently observed a yellow line in the solar spectrum that did not match that of any other element. In 1895, in each case at around the same time, Ramsay, Cleve, and Langlet independently observed helium trapped in cleveite. Fluorine: André-Marie Ampère predicted an element analogous to chlorine obtainable ...

  6. Dividing line between metals and nonmetals Part of a series on the Periodic table Periodic table forms Periodic table history Sets of elements By periodic table structure By metallic classification Metals alkali alkaline earth transition post-transition lanthanide actinide ( superactinide) Metalloids dividing metals and nonmetals Nonmetals

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