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Homework Help: Giant Metallic structures

  1. Aug 31, 2003 #1
    Does anyone know whether there are any relationship between the structure of a metal and its position in the periodic table? For example, I know zinc and magnesium have a hexagonal close-packing structure, but is there a reason for it?

    So how do you know which metal has a hexagonal close-packing structure, a cubic close-packing structure or a body-centred cubic structure?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 1, 2003 #2
    I'm afraid it's not that easy. IIRC, carbon has at least 2 different modifications, so do germanium and silicium which are in the same group, but lead doesn't.
    My guess is, that the tendency to crystallize in closest package (CFC) is the larger, ther more 'round' the atoms are. But you have outer electron orbitals which define certain preferred angles of covalent bond, so another modification may be energetically better. Maybe someone in the Chemistry forum can help you further on...

    Edit: Oops, you just asked about metals. So my examples are bad. But I think the problem is the same for metals.
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2003
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