What are metal ions and metallic bonding? (Easy explanation)

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Metallic bonding is the strong attraction between closely packed positive metal ions and a 'sea' of delocalised electrons.

showing free electrons from the outer electron shells mingled with positively charged metal ions (http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/science/images/gcsechem_60.gif)

Atomic structure of a metal

The attraction between the metal ions and the delocalised electrons must be overcome to melt or to boil a metal. Some of the attractions must be overcome to melt a metal and all of them must be overcome to boil it. These attractive forces are strong, so metals have high melting and boiling points.

This is from BBC Bitesize, and I don't understand what the diagram means. 

Posted Tue 5th February, 2013 @ 18:54 by Hapsa