What is the difference between ionic, covalent and metallic bonding?

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Siobhan Collett

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Siobhan Collett asked the Naked Scientists:
Dear Naked Scientist,
My name is Siobhan Collett and I am 13 years old.  I live in Scotland and I am really struggling with chemistry.  I was wondering if there were any pod casts that could help me as I have a big test very soon. We are doing standard grade, and I really need help with...

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Ionic, covalent and metallic bonding
Relative atomic mass
Thanks. :D

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 08/05/2010 22:30:02 by _system »


Offline chemrbhs

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Here's the quick easy distinction;
Ionic bond: metal-nonmetal
Covalent bond: nonmetal-nonmetal
Metallic bond: metal-metal

The actual distinction has to do with the difference in the electronegativites of the bonding atoms, i.e., how strong their attraction for the shared electrons is relative to each other. This distinction creates some combinations that would fall outside of the above rules, but they are generally usable, in the absence of a table of electronegativites. hope this helps.