The elements in the periodic table are often divided into four categories: (1) main group elements, (2) transition metals, (3) lanthanides, and (4) actinides. The main group elements include the active metals in the two columns on the extreme left of the periodic table and the metals, semi metals, and nonmetals in the six columns on the far right. The transition metals are the metallic elements between the two sides of the table. The lanthanides and the actinides at the bottom of the table are sometimes known as the inner transition metals because they have atomic numbers that fall between the first and second elements in the last two rows of the transition metals.
The 38 elements in groups 3 through 12 of the periodic table are called
"transition metals". As with all metals, the transition elements are both ductile and malleable, and conduct electricity and heat. The interesting thing about transition metals is that they use to combine with other elements, are present in more than one shell. This is the reason why they often show some common oxidation states. There are three noteworthy elements in the transition metals family. These elements are iron, cobalt, and nickel, and they are the only elements known to produce a magnetic field.
The physical and chemical properties of the transition elements are, in many ways, very different from the physical and chemical properties of the alkali and alkaline earth metals. Some of these differences are discussed in the sections that are followed.
The properties of the transition elements do not modify greatly across a period. For example, in the second period elements. Sodium and magnesium have unique metallic properties, silicon is a metalloid, phosphorous and sulfur are solids with nonmetallic properties, and chlorine and argon are gases. There is a clear movement from elements with metallic properties to elements with nonmetallic properties. The properties of the transition metals do not modify greatly...