How do delocalized electrons hold metal atoms together? What are the forces of attraction between the atoms and the electrons called?

  • $\begingroup$ Related chemistry.stackexchange.com/questions/25003/… $\endgroup$
    – bon
    Jun 2, 2015 at 17:01
  • $\begingroup$ This is a homework question. Please share your thoughts towards a solution otherwise it will be closed in accordance with our homework policy. A "homework question" is any question whose value lies in helping you understand the method by which the question can be solved, rather than getting the answer itself. This includes not just questions from actual homework assignments, but also self-study problems, puzzles, etc. $\endgroup$
    – bon
    Jun 2, 2015 at 17:17
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I understand how @bon would think this is homework, while the comments in the answer demonstrate genuine curiosity. Might be a good idea if you edit your question and say what you think those forces are/aren't. $\endgroup$
    – M.A.R.
    Jun 2, 2015 at 19:18
  • $\begingroup$ Agreed. If you edit your thoughts into your question then this shouldn't be closed (or will be reopened if it is closed). $\endgroup$
    – bon
    Jun 2, 2015 at 19:23
  • $\begingroup$ I think you will find the more appropriate answer to your question by applying the modern band theory. $\endgroup$
    – Papul
    Jun 3, 2015 at 10:48

1 Answer 1


The metal atoms lose electrons to form positive metal ions and a sea of delocalised electrons. The positive ions are attracted to the oppositely charged electrons and form an electrostatic attraction.

  • $\begingroup$ i thought electrostatic attraction are usually between ions that don't move? $\endgroup$
    – XQ. Matsci
    Jun 2, 2015 at 17:28
  • $\begingroup$ delocalised electrons are always moving so how is it possible that it is electrostatic attraction? the word static means non-moving? $\endgroup$
    – XQ. Matsci
    Jun 2, 2015 at 17:29
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Do you believe that non-delocalised electrons are precisely fixed? Because they aren't. The delocalised electrons are still in bonding 'orbitals' - they just aren't confined. $\endgroup$
    – Jon Custer
    Jun 2, 2015 at 19:19
  • $\begingroup$ It's another definition of static: concerned with bodies at rest or forces in equilibrium. $\endgroup$ Jun 2, 2015 at 21:21

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