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Metals are elements on the periodic table of elements that are on the left side of the table. Metals are shiny, most are malleable and ductile to a certain point, and most are good conductors of heat and electricity. Metals generally find it easier to give up the electrons they have in their outer electron shell, rather than follow the octet rule to capture electrons from other elements they may be interacting with. Take sodium, for example. Sodium is in group 1, the alkaline metals, which mean it has one electron available in its outer electron shell. When sodium interacts with chlorine, a nonmetal that has seven electrons in its outer electron shell, sodium willingly donates that one electron to chlorine. When interacting with acids, metals tend to displace the hydrogen ions that make the acid what it is. The hydrogen ions combine with each other to make hydrogen gas, which bubbles off the reaction. The metals in group 1 are the most reactive, and get progressively less reactive as you go from left to right across the periodic table.
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