Properties and the structure of metals

Basic description of the properties of metals and their structure.

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  • Created by: R-Y-A-N
  • Created on: 17-09-09 19:01

Properties of a metal

  • They are strong and hard.
  • They are solids at room temperature (except for Mercury, which is the only metal to be liquid at room temperature.)
  • They have a shiny lustre when polished.
  • They make good heat conductors and electrical conductors.
  • They are dense.
  • They produce a sonorous sound when struck.
  • They have high melting points.
  • They have high boiling points.
  • They are malleable.
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Structure of a metal

Metals are full of delocalised electrons and this can be described as a sea,The electrons can move freely within these molecular orbitals, and so each electron becomes detached from its parent atom. The electrons are said to be delocalised. The metal is held together by the strong forces of attraction between the positive nuclei and the delocalised electrons.Metals are giant structures of atoms held together by metallic bonds. Giant implies that large but variable numbers of atoms are involved depending on the size of the bit of metal.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.Metals are good conductors of heat. Heat energy is picked up by the electrons as additional kinetic energy (it makes them move faster). The energy is transferred throughout the rest of the metal by the moving electrons.

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