What are the physical properties of non-metals?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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6. Density

Non-meta; posses low densities. They are light as compared to the metals.

7. Softness

Non-metals are generally soft. However, carbon (diamond) is an exception. Diamond is very hard. In fact, diamond is the hardest natural substance known.

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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.

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