Definitions for Atomic radius

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  1. Atomic radius

    The atomic radius of a chemical element is a measure of the size of its atoms, usually the mean or typical distance from the nucleus to the boundary of the surrounding cloud of electrons. Since the boundary is not a well-defined physical entity, there are various non-equivalent definitions of atomic radius. Three widely used definitions of atomic radius are Van der Waals radius, ionic radius, and covalent radius. Depending on the definition, the term may apply only to isolated atoms, or also to atoms in condensed matter, covalently bound in molecules, or in ionized and excited states; and its value may be obtained through experimental measurements, or computed from theoretical models. Under some definitions, the value of the radius may depend on the atom's state and context. Electrons do not have definite orbits, or sharply defined ranges. Rather, their positions must be described as probability distributions that taper off gradually as one moves away from the nucleus, without a sharp cutoff. Moreover, in condensed matter and molecules, the electron clouds of the atoms usually overlap to some extent, and some of the electrons may roam over a large region encompassing two or more atoms.

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"Atomic radius." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2014. Web. 1 Sep. 2014. <http://www.definitions.net/definition/Atomic radius>.

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