Why do metals conduct electricity?
Metals conduct electricity. The delocalised electrons are free to move throughout the structure in 3-dimensions. They can cross grain boundaries. Even though the pattern may be disrupted at the boundary, as long as atoms are touching each other, the metallic bond is still present. Liquid metals also conduct electricity, showing that although the metal atoms may be free to move, the delocalisation remains in force until the metal boils. Why are metals malleable and ductile?
The malleability and ductility of metals are possible because metallic bonding is the same in all directions throughout the solid. One plane of atoms in a metal can slide past another without encountering any resistance or breaking any bonds. Metals are described as malleable (can be beaten into sheets) and ductile (can be pulled out into wires). This is because of the ability of the atoms to roll over each other into new positions without breaking the metallic bond. If a small stress is put onto the metal, the layers of atoms will start to roll over each other. If the stress is released again, they will fall back to their original positions. Under these circumstances, the metal is said to be elastic. If a larger stress is put on, the atoms roll over each other into a new position, and the metal is permanently changed. Why do metals have high melting and boiling points?
Metals tend to have high melting and boiling points because of the strength of the metallic bond. The strength of the bond varies from metal to metal and depends on the number of electrons which each atom delocalises into the sea of electrons, and on the packing.
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