The important physical properties of non-metals are discussed below:
1. Non-metals are Brittle
Non-metals are generally brittle and hence cannot be beaten into sheets or drawn into wires. In other words, non-metals are non-malleable and non-ductile. Where stress is applied on non-metals, they shatter into pieces.
2. Non-metals are Bad Conductors of Heat and Electricity
Non-metals are generally bad conductors of heat and electricity. Carbon (graphite) is an exception. It is a good conductor of electricity and is used in making electrodes.
3. Physical State
Non-metals may exist in solid, liquid or gaseous state at room temperature. For example, carbon, sulphur and phosphorus are solid at room temperature; become is a liquid and hydrogen, oxygen are gaseous non-metals.
4. Non-metals are Non-lustrous
Non-metals are generally non-lustrous and dull. Carbon (graphite) and iodine are exceptions. They are lustrous, as their surface possesses a shine.
5. Tensile Strength
Non-metals have low tensile strength. They are not strong and get easily broken.
Non-meta; posses low densities. They are light as compared to the metals.
Non-metals are generally soft. However, carbon (diamond) is an exception. Diamond is very hard. In fact, diamond is the hardest natural substance known.
8. Melting points and Boiling points
All non-metals (except graphite) posses low melting and boiling points. Carbon (graphite) is a non-metal but possesses high melting point.