A metal is a solid material that is typically shiny, dense, malleable, and ductile, with good electrical and thermal conductivity. Metals are made up of atoms that are closely packed together and held together by metallic bonds. The most commonly known metals are iron, copper, gold, silver, aluminum, and lead. Metals are characterized by their ability to conduct electricity and heat, their shiny appearance, and their ductility and malleability. They are typically strong and durable, making them useful in a wide range of applications. Many metals are also resistant to corrosion and oxidation, which makes them suitable for use in harsh environments. The properties of metals can be modified through the process of alloying, which involves mixing different metals or adding other elements to create a new material with specific properties. For example, adding carbon to iron creates steel, which is stronger and more durable than pure iron.