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Science Lab Experiment: Characteristics of Metals

Demonstration: Characteristics of Metals

Object: To determine some characteristics of metals.

Materials: : light bulb, battery, bell and saw blade apparatus, plastic, wood, silver, paper, propane torch, matches

Characteristics of Metals - light bulb    Characteristics of Metals - sawblade

Method: The materials were set up as shown in the diagram. Different metals were connected to the bare ends of the wires coming from the battery and tested to indicate whether a bulb would light or not. (1) The propane torch was used to heat the copper wire attached to the saw blade. (2)

Observations: As the different metals were tested, it was noticed that the paper, wood and plastic did not conduct electricity to light the bulb. The silver coin allowed the current to pass and caused the bulb to light. (1) When tested by the propane torch, the copper wire expanded, pushing the saw blade to touch the nail. The bell was heard to ring, indicating conduction. After the flame was removed, the bell stopped ringing.

Conclusions: Two characteristics of metals were demonstrated: Metals conduct electricity (1) and Metals conduct heat. (2) Heat caused the molecules in the metal to spread farther apart, stretching the saw blade to hit the head of the nail, completing the electrical circuit.