# How can alkali metals form covalent bonds?

Alkali metals have spherical outer s orbitals unlike elements like carbon which have protruding p orbitals that can "attach" onto other orbitals to form covalent compounds. Even in cases like methane elements like carbon can form hybrid orbitals that still have a protruding p like character.

So how can covalent alkali metals form covalent bonds given that their orbitals are spherical and not protruding?

Does the s orbital distort to be more p like in covalent compounds?

Can the s orbital hybridize and steal a more protruding like character from internal orbitals or from the orbitals of another atom?

• hydrogen atom also only has s orbital. They can form covalent bond in H2. – Rodriguez Jul 6 '16 at 21:27
• You should really read about bonding and antibonding orbitals. – Mithoron Jul 6 '16 at 21:30

As mentioned above, the molecular orbitals of $\ce{H2}$ are a good example of how s-orbitals can form bonding molecular orbitals.