Materials Science and Engineering: An Introduction

Published by Wiley
ISBN 10: 1118324579
ISBN 13: 978-1-11832-457-8

Chapter 2 - Atomic Structure and Interatomic Bonding - Questions and Problems: 2.3

Answer

Covalently bonded materials are less dense than metallic or ionically bonded ones because covalent bonds are directional in nature whereas metallic and ionic are not; when bonds are directional, the atoms cannot pack together in a dense manner, yielding a lower mass density than solids with non-directional bonds.

Work Step by Step

A covalent bond forms when electrons are shared between two atoms. An ionic bond forms when an atom donates an electron to another atom. A metallic bond forms between two metals in a lattice structure of positively charged ions in a sea of negatively charged electrons.
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