What is the size difference between atoms of different elements?

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Offline thedoc

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Martin Fennell asked the Naked Scientists:

How much bigger are atoms of different elements?

For example, is a helium atom twice the size of a hydrogen atom?


What do you think?
« Last Edit: 31/03/2016 02:50:01 by _system »


Offline evan_au

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Have a look at: http://crystalmaker.com/support/tutorials/crystalmaker/atomic-radii/index.html

It's a bit more laborious, but you can also look up each element in Wikipedia, and it will give the size of the atom in the information box on the right-hand side (sometimes several different sizes, depending on the method used to measure it, or what element it is bonded with).

Hydrogen: covalent radius 315pm; Van der Walls radius 120pm See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen
Helium: covalent radius: 28pm; Vand der Waals radius: 140pm. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helium

Note also that the size of an atom varies a bit depending on whether it is a neutral atom or a charged ion.