Elements for Kids
Post-transition, Poor, Other Metals
The post-transition metals are a group of elements in the periodic table. They are located to the right of the transition metals and to the left of the metalloids. They are also referred to as "other" metals and "poor" metals.
What elements are post-transition metals?
Scientists can't seem to agree on what to call this group of metals (poor, other, post-transition) or which elements should be included. Typically the elements of the post-transition metals include any metal in groups 13, 14, and 15 which are aluminum, gallium, indium, tin, thallium, lead, and bismuth. Polonium is often classified as a post-transition metal as well. Click the links or see below for more details on each element.
What are the similar properties of post-transition metals?
Post-transition metals share many similar properties including:
Order of Abundance
- They are solid metal under standard conditions.
- Like most metals they are malleable, ductile, and good conductions of heat and electricity.
- They have a fairly high density.
- In comparison to transition metals, they generally are softer and have lower melting and boiling points.
The most abundant of the post-transition metals on Earth is aluminum which is also the most abundant metal in the Earth's crust. Here is a list of post-transition metals in order of abundance in the Earth's crust:
Interesting Facts about Post-transition Metals
- Sometimes zinc, cadmium, and mercury are categorized with the post-transition metals rather than the transition metals.
- Aluminum is the third most abundant element in the Earth's crust behind oxygen and silicon.
- Sometimes germanium and antimony are categorized as post-transition metals instead of metalloids.
- Gallium's melting point is only slightly above room temperature and it will melt if held in the hand.
- Bismuth is used in Pepto-Bismol, a drug used to help upset stomachs.
- Bismuth was once thought to be the heaviest stable element, but recently it was discovered to be slightly radioactive.
- Indium is used in electronics including flat panel displays and touch screens.
- The name thallium comes from the Greek word "thallos" which means "a green shoot or twig."
- Thallium is highly toxic and can cause death. One symptom of thallium poisoning is loss of hair.
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