Metals have a tendency of forming cations.
Solid crystalline metals can be pictured as a three-dimensional array of positive
ions that have fixed positions in the crystal. The valence electrons of these
ions move freely throughout the crystal.
Click on the copper wire below to see the electrons
moving freely through the metal.
In the solid, the free moving electrons allow for high thermal
and electrical conductivity (i.e. the electrons can carry the heat energy and
electricity). The bonding of atoms in metals is referred to as metallic