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Many metals such as gold or aluminum can be hammered into thin sheets. This property of metals is called malleability.

Which of the following statements BEST explains why metals are malleable when a stress is applied to them?


The atoms move into a new arrangement, but they are still surrounded by a "sea" of mobile valence electrons.


The atoms begin to experience strong repulsive forces between the cations in the crystal structure.


The dipole-dipole forces between the molecules are broken, causing the molecules to spread out and move away from each other.


The atomic radius of the atoms decreases, causing the atoms to move closer towards each other.

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