The Transition Metals


The transition metals is a term given to the group of metals that occupy the centre of the periodic table. They are known as the transition elements as they bridge the gap between group 2 and 3. They are all metals, form coloured compounds and can act as catalysts with variable oxidation states.

The large central portion of the periodic table is known as the transition elements containing a wide range of common everyday metals. The transition metals are known for their high melting points and boiling points, strength and conductivity of heat and electricity. The transition metals are known as the d block metals. This is because they have a large block of d orbitals that can occupy 5 pairs of electrons this gives transition metals a number of properties. Transition metals are often colored compounds due to their ability to split the D block and also they have variable oxidation states. D block metals are also important in industry due to their ability to work as catalysts in reactions. The transition metals are found naturally abundant in the earths crust but due to their reactivity they are often found in ores, combined in compounds with non metals and other metals.

Common transition metals such as Iron is used in the construction of cars and buildings due to its strength, it is also used in the manufacturing of magnets due to its magnetic properties. Where as copper is used in electrical cable due to its ability to conduct electricity and also in the production of pipes in houses to move water as it is relatively unreactive. Rarer transition metals such as vanadium are used in the production of alloys and also as catalysts. Manganese is often used as a catalyst and oxidizing agent.

Terms in section
Transition metals

Transition metals are the central section of the periodic table containing the majority of the metals. Also have d sub orbitals producing certain chemical properties

Melting point

Melting point is the temperature at which a solid turns into a liquid. The temperature when atoms have enough energy to over come their bonds and turn into a liquid.

Boiling point

Boiling point is the temperature at which a liquid turns into a gas. The particles have enough internal energy to overcome the bonds in the liquid.

D block metals

D block metals is a term given to metals in the transition metals section of the periodic table due to the d-orbital sub shells

Coloured compounds

Are compounds formed from transition metals that are able to have colour due to their electrons

Oxidation state

Oxidation state is the term used to describe the loss or gain of electrons of an element to produce a charged ion


A catalyst is a chemical that can take part in a reaction and speed the reaction up but is not used up itself


Group 2: The Alkaline Earth Metals


Group 17: The Halogens