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Consider that ions, by definition, have an electric charge. If you have ions in a matrix, e.g. table salt, $\ce{NaCl}$, crystals, the negative and positive charges balance. and the ions can get cozy. But pure ions, e.g. $\ce{Na+}$ or $\ce{Cl-}$, do not find each other attractive enough for a really solid relationship. As an exercise, calculate the repulsive ...

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