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Unformatted text preview: Atomic Radii Trends in the Periodic Table In order to talk about the radius of an atom, we have to make an arbitrary decision about where the edge of the atom is. It is arbitrary because the electron orbitals do not end sharply. Nevertheless, we can do like we did with the 3D contour plots of the orbitals and just arbitarily choose the radius that the electron spends 90% of its time inside. The electrons spend 90% of the time inside the black line. Using this definition consistently, we can look at the trends of the atomic radii as a function of position in the periodic table. That trend is... In general the size of the atom depends on how far the outermost valence electron is from the nucleus. With this in mind we understand two general trends... Size increases down a group: The increasing principle quantum number of the valence orbitals means larger orbitals and an increase...
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