Element that readily forms cations and has metallic bonds; sometimes said to be similar to a cation in a cloud of electrons. The metals are one of the three groups of elements as distinguished by their ionization and bonding properties, along with the metalloids and nonmetals. A diagonal line drawn from B to Po separates the metals from the nonmetals. Elements on this line are metalloids, sometimes called semi-metals; elements to the lower left are metals; elements to the upper right are nonmetals. Nonmetals are more abundant in nature than metals, but metals make up most of the periodic table. Astronomers refer to all elements heavier than He as “metals” even though these elements are not all metals as defined by cosmochemists.

Some or all content above used with permission from J. H. Wittke.