AP® Chemistry

Free Version

Upgrade subject to access all content


What Holds a Piece of Metal Together?


Which of the following is the BEST explanation for why atoms of the same metal can remain bonded together in large groups that we can see and manipulate macroscopically?


Electrons on an individual metal atom are free to move from it to other immediately nearby atoms and back to their original atom, forming temporary charge separations akin to those displayed in intermolecular London dispersion forces.


Each metal atom shares its electrons with several other atoms in the structure, forming strong covalent bonds.


Some of the metal atoms give up electrons and some do not, causing ionic bonds to form between the atoms.


The electrons of the various metal atoms in the group move freely through the structure. These are made by the bonded atoms gathering in different areas of the structure and forming temporary gatherings of negative charge, which hold the structure together by attracting the positively charged metal atoms in the structure.