Metals and Non-Metals: Metals and Non-Metals metals: metals A metal is a chemical element that is a good conductor of both electricity and heat and forms cations and ionic bonds with non-metals. In chemistry, a metal ,is an element, compound or alloy characterized by high electrical conductivity. In a metal, atoms readily lose electrons to form positive ions (cations). Those ions are surrounded by delocalized electrons, which are responsible for the conductivity. The solid thus produced is held by electrostatic interactions between the ions and the electron cloud which are called metallic bonds. Non-metals: Non-metals Nonmetal , or non-metal , is a term used in chemistry when classifying the chemical elements . On the basis of their general physical and chemical properties, every element in the periodic table can be termed either a metal or a nonmetal. (A few elements with intermediate properties are referred to as metalloids ). Only eighteen elements in the periodic table are generally considered nonmetals, compared to over eighty metals, but nonmetals make up most of the crust, atmosphere and oceans of the earth . Bulk tissues of living organisms are composed almost entirely of nonmetals. Most nonmetals are monatomic noble gases or form diatomic molecules in their elemental state, unlike metals which (in their elemental state) do not form molecules at all.