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By Lower S. K.

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Instead, we must content ourselves with observing (most commonly by X-ray diffraction experiments) the distances between adjacent atoms in molecules or solids. A rough idea of the size of a metallic atom can be obtained simply by measuring the density of a sample of the metal. This tells us the number of atoms per unit volume of the solid. The atoms are assumed to be spheres of radius r in contact with each other, each of which sits in a cubic box of edge length 2r. The volume of each box is just the total volume of the solid divided by the number of Page 29 Chem1 Atoms, electrons, and the Periodic Table atoms in that mass of the solid; the atomic radius is the cube root of r Defining atomic radii The radius of an atom or ion cannot be measured directly; in most cases it can only be inferred from measurements of the distance between adjacent nuclei in a crystalline solid.

Atkins’ Quanta, P. Davies’ The Forces of Nature, and the inspired writing of Toulmin and Goodfield in The Architecture of Matter.

The effect of increasing nuclear charge on the radius is clearly seen. Figure 10 8+ 9+ 10+ 11+ 12+ O2– F– Ne Na+ Mg2+ Relative radii of members of an isoelectronic series. Periodic trends in ion formation Chemical reactions are based largely on the interactions between the most loosely bound electrons in atoms, so it is not surprising that the tendency of an atom to gain or lose electrons is one of its fundamental chemical properties. Ionization energy This term always refers to the formation of positive ions.

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