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Metals and Metallurgy

In Chapter 22 we examined the chemistry of nonmetallic elements. In this chapter we turn our attention to metals. Metals have played a major role in the development of civilization. Early history is often divided into the Stone Age, the Bronze Age, and the Iron Age, based on the compositions of the tools used in each era. Modern societies rely on a large variety of metals for making tools, machines, and other items. Chemists and other scientists have found uses for even the least abundant metals as they search for materials to meet evolving technological needs. To illustrate this point, Figure 23.1 shows the approximate composition of a high-performance jet engine. Notice that iron, long the dominant metal of technology, is not even present to a significant extent.

In this chapter we will consider the chemical forms in which metallic elements occur in nature and the means by which we obtain metals from these sources. We will also examine the bonding in solids and see how metals and mixtures of metals, called alloys, are employed in modern technology. Finally, we will look specifically at the properties of transition metals. As we will see, metals have a varied and interesting chemistry.

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