Common non-metals. Image credit

Common non-metals. Image credit

ZIMSEC O Level Combined Science Notes: Experiment: Testing the physical properties of metals and non-metals

Aim:To examine the physical properties of metals and non-metals

Materials: aluminium foil, carbon rod taken from a torch cell, copper foil, gas jars of oxygen, hydrogen; sulpher, magnesium ribbon, zinc, iron nail, sandpaper, burner, three 1.5v cells, connecting wires, lamp.


Conductivity experiment. Image credit

Conductivity experiment. Image credit

  1. Examine each element taking note of its colour, malleability. Use sand paper to clean the materials before looking at them
  2. Set up a circuit as shown in the diagram above
  3. Test the conductivity of each material


  • The metals are shiny/Have a lustre after they are cleaned
  • The non metals are dull in appearance
  • The metals conduct heat and electricity well

To access more topics go to the Combined Science Notes page.

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