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How to distinguish common metals

1) Identify metals by color

The majority of metals have a gray color with shades that are difficult to distinguish.
However, there are two metals that have a characteristic color :
- Gold ( yellow )
- Copper ( orange-red )

2) Behavior of a metal in presence of a magnet

A magnet, placed close to several metals, only attracts iron
A magnetic test can therefore detect the iron among other metals.

- In a recycling center the iron can be separated from other metals using magnets.
- A magnet can also attract an alloy containing some iron like steel or cast iron.

3) The density of metals

The density of a solid or a liquid can be calculated with the following relationship:
d =
Where d is density ( no unity ), m is mass ( in kilogramme ) and V is volume (in liters orcubic decimeter )

Each pure metal has its own density that can be therefore used to identify it.
Example: The density of an object made of pure aluminum is always 2,7 regardless of its size and its shape. Furthermore if the density of an unknown metal is 2.7 then this metal is pure aluminium.

Density of common metals:
Aluminum: d = 2.7
Zinc: d = 7.1
iron: d = 7.3
Copper: d = 8.9
Silver: d = 10.5
Or: d = 19.2

Science class

Mechanics lessons

Water on Earth
Changes of state in the nature: the water cycle
Water in human body
Test for water
Properties of water in different states

States of matter

States of matter and its changes
Boiling water
Water: freezing and melting
Changes of state: mass and volume
Molecules in different states of matter

Mixtures and solutions

Heterogeneous mixtures
Homogeneous mixtures
Vaporization of water
Dissolving a solid in water
Conservation of mass on dissolving
Miscibility in water

Mass and volume

Volume and its units
Measuring volume with a graduated cylinder
Mass and its units
Measuring the mass of a liquid
Mass of a liter of water
Volumetric mass density

Air and atmosphere

Earth's atmosphere protect us
Threats to the Earth's atmosphere
Composition of air
Air and life

Atoms and molecules

Molecules in mixtures and pure substances
Molecules and states of matter
Composition of molecules
Constituents of the atoms
The electrical neutrality of the atom


Basics of combustion
The combustion of carbon
The combustion of butane

Atoms and chemical reactions

Chemical reactions
Chemical equations
Law of conservation of mass
Chemical synthesis


Most common metals
How to distinguish metals ?

Corrosion of metals
Electrical conductivity of solid materials
Electrons and free electrons
Electric current in metals


The conductivity of aqueous solutions
Aqueous solutions and ions
The direction of movement of ions
Formation of ions
Tests for ions

Acidic and basic solutions

pH of aqueous solutions
Ions in acidic and basic solutions
Dilution of acids and bases
Composition of hydrochloric acid
Chemical reaction between iron and hydrochloric acid

Electrochemical cells and chemical energy

Chemical reaction beteween a copper sulphate solution and zinc
Copper sulfate and zinc battery
Basics of electrochemical cell


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