Atomic radius is defined as the distance from the center of the nucleus to the boundary of the surrounding cloud of electrons. The atomic radius can be further specified into 4 types as:
•Covalent radius: half the distance between two atoms of a diatomic compound, singly bonded.
•Van der Waals radius: half the distance between the nuclei of atoms of different molecules in a lattice of covalent molecules.
•Metallic radius: half the distance between two adjacent nuclei of atoms in a metallic lattice.
•Ionic radius: half the distance between two nuclei of elements of an ionic compound.
This term is measured in Angstroms or picometers (pm).
•Atomic radius decreases from left to right within a period. This is caused by the increase in the number of protons and electrons across a period. One proton has a greater effect than one electron; thus, electrons are pulled towards the nucleus, resulting in a smaller radius.
•Atomic radius increases from top to bottom within a group. This is caused by addition of new shell.
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