Atoms and Molecules - Periodic Trends

Metallic character decreases as you move across the periodic table from left to right. This occurs as atoms more readily accept electrons to fill a valence shell than lose them to remove the unfilled shell. Metallic character increases as you move down the periodic table. This is due to the fact that the electrons become easier to lose as the atomic radius increases. The increase in atomic radius decreases attraction between the positive nucleus and the negative electrons, causing the electrons to be held more loosely.


Concept Definition

Study the primary definition of this concept, broken into general, basic, and advanced English definitions. Also see the mathematical definition and any requisite background information, such as conditions or previous definitions.

General Science

The tendency of an atom to lose an electron and form a positive cation, making that atom act like a metal.


Metallic character can be described as the chemical properties associated with those elements classed as metals. These properties, which arise from the element's ability to lose electrons, are: the displacement of hydrogen from dilute acids; the formation of basic oxides; the formation of ionic chlorides; and their reducing reaction. These occur due to the atom losing an electron and forming a cation.



Learn important vocabulary for this concept, including words that might appear in assessments (tests, quizzes, homework, etc.) that indicate the use of this concept.

 Important Vocabulary

Term Context

Comments (0)