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How sodium atoms exist together when they all have unstability due to an extra electron present in their outermost shell? I mean how two neutral atoms Na atoms are existing together in form of white silvery solid referred to as sodium metal

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marked as duplicate by DSVA, Mithoron, pentavalentcarbon, Gaurang Tandon, Tyberius May 10 '18 at 19:03

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  • $\begingroup$ They don't have any instability; also, it is wrong to say there is no force between them. Maybe there is no pure electrostatic force, but that's only a part of the picture. $\endgroup$ – Ivan Neretin May 10 '18 at 14:48
  • $\begingroup$ There's no extra electron. The thing is neutral and with some rearranging of electrons, you can get a more stable system by having more atoms. $\endgroup$ – Zhe May 10 '18 at 14:54
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It is possible for two lithium atoms or two sodium atoms to form a covalent bond between them. If you consider the s atomic orbitals and the way you can form bonding and antibonding orbitials.

You will be able to form a sigma bonding orbitial and a sigma star antibonding orbitial. You will have sufficent electrons to fully occupy the sigma bonding orbitial. This is the HOMO (Highest Occupied Molecular Orbitial). The antibonding orbitial is the LUMO (lowest unoccupied molecular orbitial).

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When there is not any more "stable" option present, sodium or any other element will stay as they are. Sodium will only lose an electron and transform into other compounds if it is thermodynamically more favorable.

From the other way around, if the sodium left with itself, a closed vacuum place with only sodium atoms at STP, the only stable option is having that so-called unstable electron on its outer shell. Stability cannot be thought without considering the surrounding environment.

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