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Considering volume of atom , what radius

  1. Jun 15, 2012 #1
    do you consider Covalent radius, Van der Waals radius or atomic radius?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 15, 2012 #2


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    Atoms don't have a strict radius or volume. Technically each atom extends through the whole universe. Now what do you use when you need an estimate for a volume? The choice is up to you, what works best depends on what you want to use the volume for.

    Note also that the quantities you cite (covalent radius, vdW radius etc) are also not strictly defined.
  4. Jun 16, 2012 #3
    oh ok, so do you think the right way to find the volume of the atom is to find the average of the covalent radius, vdw radius and atomic radius?
  5. Jun 16, 2012 #4


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    I said nothing even remotely suggesting this. There is no "right" way to "find" the volume of an atom, because it does not have one. Even if there was a right way, just averaging random unrelated quantities without any reason to so would most certainly not be it.
  6. Jun 17, 2012 #5
    Oh ok...
  7. Jun 17, 2012 #6


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    Perhaps this article will help: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atomic_radius
    There is a chart at the bottom with the calculated radius of each element. I don't know what they based their calculations off of, but I'm sure you could either use those values or look at the references for more information.
  8. Jun 17, 2012 #7
    I'd just use the Bohr radius depending on the calculation.
  9. Jun 17, 2012 #8
    Thanks Drakkith , this chart helps a lot for my research...
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