What Makes The Metals Metallic? October 28 2020, 0 Comments

Valence Electrons Are Free To Move

Separate aluminum atoms keep their valence electrons to themselves.
But when a large collection of Al atoms are gathered together, the valences overlap and blend. The loosely held valence electrons are easy to move from atom to atom. This is what makes the metals metallic.

Metals Conduct Electricity

When a voltage is applied to a metal, the loosely held electrons are free to move away from the negative terminal and toward the positive. Small core charge and large valence radius make metals conduct electric current.

Metals Conduct Heat

When a metal is heated, the electrons receive the largest portion of kinetic energy. Because they are free to move, the fast electrons carry the kinetic energy throughout the metal very efficiently.  

Metals Reflect Light

Light is an electromagnetic wave. Because the electrons are loose and free to move, the electromagnetic wave causes them to move back and forth at the same frequency. The moving electrons generate a new electromagnetic wave that obeys the laws of reflection! 

Metals are Malleable

In a metal, the atomic cores are held in order, floating in a "sea" of free electrons. If a piece of metal is hit with a hammer, the atomic cores will just move to a new place, and the electrons will fill in around them. The metal is dented, but nothing gets broken!

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