What are some physical properties of metals?

1 Answer
Nov 28, 2016

Metals are #"malleable"#, #"ductile"#, and #"good conductors of heat and electricity."#


Metals possess these properties on the basis of #"metallic bonding"#, which is commonly described as #"positive ions in a sea of electrons"#.

In a metallic structure, each metal atom donates one or two (or more) electrons to the overall lattice. These valence electrons are delocalized and not associated with any particular atom. The positively charged metal nuclei can thus move with respect to each other, but still be part of an electrostatically bound lattice because of the attraction between nuclei and the delocalized electrons. Malleability, the ability to be hammered out into a sheet (from the Latin, malleus, hammer), and ductility, the ability to be drawn out into a wire, are the result of this metallic bonding.