Keyword Analysis & Research: atomic solids

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How are atoms of a solid arranged?

In a metallic solid atoms are arranged in a lattice-like 3D structure where there is a regular array of metal cations surrounded by a sea of delocalised electrons. In iron, the atoms are arranged in a lattice like the one shown below. The atoms have lots of shells of electrons surrounding the nucleus.

How do atoms and molecules form solids?

Atoms can combine into network covalent solids -- think of diamond (carbon). Metallic atoms also can bond together to form solids. Think of copper or iron. Molecules usually form solids by intermolecular interactions such as dipole-dipole, hydrogen bonding, or even van der Waals forces.

Are atoms completely solid?

Democritus (circa 470 BC) Democritus said that all matter is made up of tiny, indivisible particles called atoms. These atoms were completely solid and were eternally in motion. He also stated that every different type of atom differs slightly.


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