My book says it has something to do with the inert pair effect. And unlike As, Sb and Bi tend to form 3 covalent bonds rather than 5. I don't understand what's really going on here.

  • $\begingroup$ chemistry.stackexchange.com/questions/8717/… $\endgroup$ – orthocresol Oct 27 '15 at 14:34
  • $\begingroup$ Well I do understand what innert pair effect is but how does it make the melting point go lower? $\endgroup$ – Anindya Oct 27 '15 at 14:35
  • $\begingroup$ Alright, what is the melting point of a metal affected by? $\endgroup$ – orthocresol Oct 27 '15 at 14:36
  • $\begingroup$ The intermolecular attraction force? Strength of metallic bond and vanderwal force of attraction in case of atoms I think $\endgroup$ – Anindya Oct 27 '15 at 14:38
  • $\begingroup$ That's a good answer. Let's ignore the vdw forces because those are pretty negligible compared to the metallic bonding - which is ionic in nature (remember the typical description of a metal: "a lattice of metal cations surrounded by delocalised electrons"). So essentially, metallic bonding is electrostatic in nature. And you know that Bi has a smaller tendency to give up their electrons. So, maybe you can conclude something about the melting point of Bi. $\endgroup$ – orthocresol Oct 27 '15 at 14:46

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