Periodic trends and effective nuclear charge

  • Thread starter henry3369
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Main Question or Discussion Point

My book is trying to explain why atomic radii decreases as you move toward the right side of the periodic table because the effective nuclear charge increases. I understand why an increase in effective nuclear charge results in a smaller radius, but I don't know why the effective nuclear charge would decrease with more valence electrons. If Zeff= Z-S, then an increase in valence electrons would increase shielding; thus, Zeff would be smaller with an increase in S.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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You increase the proton number Z by 1, but the new electron won't be completely inside so its shielding effect is less than one elementary charge.
 

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