Atomic Radius

Introduction

The atomic radius of a chemical element is the distance from the center of the nucleus to the outermost shell of an electron.

Since the boundary is not a well-defined physical entity, there are various non-equivalent definitions of atomic radius.

Four widely used definitions of atomic radius are: Van der Waals radius, ion...

According to wikipedia…

The atomic radius of a chemical element is a measure of the size of its atoms, usually the mean or typical distance from the center of the nucleus to the boundary of the surrounding shells of electrons. 

Table of contents

I would like to analyse the following topics:

  • Atomic radius definition
  • What does atomic radius mean
  • How to find atomic radius on periodic table
  • Atomic radius periodic table trend
  • How does atomic radius increase
  • Atomic radius trend exceptions
  • Atomic radius units
  • How is atomic radius measured
  • Atomic radius vs ionic radius
  • Atomic radius vs atomic number
  • How to predict atomic radius

Atomic radius definition

An atomic radius is half the distance between adjacent atoms of the same element in a molecule.

Measuring the atomic radii of chemical elements is a complicated task as the size of an atom is of the order of 1.2×10-10 m.

Atomic radius is determined as the distance between the nuclei of two identical atoms bonded together.

What does Atomic Radius Mean

Size of the atom.

The atomic radius is defined as one-half the distance between the nuclei of identical atoms that are bonded together.

The atomic radius (r) of an atom can be defined as one half the distance (d) between two nuclei in a diatomic molecule.

Atomic radius periodic table trend

Atomic radius decreases across a period and increases down a group

In general, atomic radius decreases across a period and increases down a group.

Across a period, effective nuclear charge increases as electron shielding remains constant.

How does Atomic Radius Increase

As you move downwards in a group.

There are two main atomic radius trends.

The first atomic radius periodic trend is that atomic radii increase as you move downwards in a group.

Atomic radius trend exceptions

Oxygen radius being slightly greater than the nitrogen radius.

The atomic radius of atoms generally decreases from left to right across a period.

There are some small exceptions, such as the oxygen radius being slightly greater than the nitrogen radius.

Within a period, protons are added to the nucleus as electrons are being added to the same principal energy level.

Atomic radius units

Picometers, equal to 10 −12 meters.

The atomic radius (r) of an atom can be defined as one half the distance (d) between two nuclei in a diatomic molecule.

Atomic radii have been measured for elements.

The units for atomic radii are picometers, equal to 10−12 meters.

How is atomic radius measured

Distance from the nucleus of the atom to the electron clouds around the nucleus.

The radius of an atom can only be found by measuring the distance between the nuclei of two touching atoms, and then halving that distance.

The type of atomic radius being measured here is called the metallic radius or the covalent radius depending on the bonding.

Atomic radius vs ionic radius

Atomic radius is half the diameter of a neutral atom

In other words, it is half the diameter of an atom, measuring across the outer stable electrons.

The ionic radius is half the distance between two gas atoms that are just touching each other.

Atomic radius vs atomic number

As the atomic number increases the atomic radius decreases.

This is because as you travel down the columns, the atomic radius increases.

Therefore, as you go across the periods, the radius decreases, but as you go down the columns, the radius increases.

How to Predict Atomic Radius

Dividing the distance between the nuclei of touching atoms in half.

The radius of an atom can only be found by measuring the distance between the nuclei of two touching atoms, and then halving that distance.

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COMMENTS

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