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Thread: Metal atoms to a metal solid

  1. #1 Metal atoms to a metal solid 
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Tucson, AZ, USA
    What is it called when a bunch of single metal atoms of oxidation state zero (meaning just plain copper or gold or iron or lead) come together and form a solid metal (metallic copper, gold, iron, or lead)? Isn't being in a solid state a lower energy state than existing as individual atoms?

    I don't mean M+ irons, or M++ ions, but just plain M atoms. To form into a solid don't they have to overcome a hurdle, such as Gibbs energy, or some sort of enthalpy of formation difference?

    I've heard of ionization energy, which is the energy required to do the following:

    M --> M+ + e-

    That's not what I mean. What is the process called that does the following:

    M(0) + M(0) --> M(solid)

    What is the name of the chemical barrier that must be overcome for atoms to form into a solid?


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