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How would you classify polonium and astatine?

Discussion in 'Science' started by man in chiang mai, Jan 21, 2011.

  1. I have made a giant periodic table from files created in Publisher. Each element is represented by an (almost) A4 sheet. I was lucky and had a large wall that needed covering so that's why I made it. However, I just talked with one of my colleagues and have now found out that there is some debate as to what Po and At are. I considered Po to be a metal but it's sometimes classified as a metalloid, and I thought that At was a metalloid but apparently that is sometimes classified as a non-metal. I just wondered if ther was a standard anywhere to base my table on. I tried the RSC and IUPAC websites but couldn't find anything on either site.
    It probably isn't that important as the boundaries are blurred but for the sake of completion I'd like a satisfactory and up to date answer.
    By the way, when I find out, I'll put the files up for grabs to anyone that wants them. It makes a rather impressive 2m by 4m periodic table. I use it all the time in my teaching and to play games like Splatt! on it.
     
  2. I have made a giant periodic table from files created in Publisher. Each element is represented by an (almost) A4 sheet. I was lucky and had a large wall that needed covering so that's why I made it. However, I just talked with one of my colleagues and have now found out that there is some debate as to what Po and At are. I considered Po to be a metal but it's sometimes classified as a metalloid, and I thought that At was a metalloid but apparently that is sometimes classified as a non-metal. I just wondered if ther was a standard anywhere to base my table on. I tried the RSC and IUPAC websites but couldn't find anything on either site.
    It probably isn't that important as the boundaries are blurred but for the sake of completion I'd like a satisfactory and up to date answer.
    By the way, when I find out, I'll put the files up for grabs to anyone that wants them. It makes a rather impressive 2m by 4m periodic table. I use it all the time in my teaching and to play games like Splatt! on it.
     
  3. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    I doubt anyone has ever seen enough AT to make a judgement. Both are on the starcase so I I would just fudge it a bit and say that they are elements with mettallic and non metallic characteristics and leave it at that.
     
  4. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Blazer is right. My understanding is that At has only been detected as its atoms have decayed. In the past, students might have been expected to predict the properties of it and its compounds. My guess is that it will be benignly neglected by chemistry examiners in the future (certainly at GCSE level anyway). Noone has actually done very much chemistry on it at all.
    Greenwood & Earnshaw described Po as a metal in 1984. It's the only element with a pure cubic structure (below 36C).They suggest that there are about 2500 tonnes of Po in the outer 1km of Earth's crust. (At only accounts for 44mg)
    I'd be inclined to leave the blocks fairly hazy.
    P
     

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