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You are given a hammer, a battery, a bulb, wires, and a switch.
(a) How could you use them to distinguish between samples of metals and non-metals?
(b) Assess the usefulness of these tests in distinguishing between metals and non-metals.
(a) Metals can be beaten into thin sheets with a hammer without breaking. Non-metals cannot be beaten with a hammer to form thin sheets. Non-metals break into pieces when hammered. Metals are malleable, while non-metals are non-malleable. When metals are connected into a circuit using a battery, bulb, wires, and switch, the current passes through the circuit and the bulb glows. When non-metals (like sulphur) are connected, the bulb does not light up at all. Metals are good conductors of electricity.
(b) Metals and non-metals can be differentiated due to malleability, as metals can be cast into sheets. Metals are good conductors of electricity so these can be used for electrical cables.
[Extra information: Malleability: The property of metals that allows metals to be hammered into thin sheets is called Malleability. Due this unique property, metals can be flattened into thin sheets by hammering and rolling.
Ductility: The property of metals that enables them to be drawn into wires is called Ductility. Due to this property metals can be stretched without breaking and drawn into thin wires.]
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