## Atomic/covalent radii [ENDORSED]

Nick Griffin 1K
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Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:03 am

Is it possible for a covalent radius to be considered an atomic radius as well, like in the case of a diatomic molecule? Basically, is there overlap between these two kinds of radii or are they mutually exclusive from each other. And if an element will not be forming covalent bonds, would it not have covalent radius but just an atomic radius, while others can have both?
The book talks about covalent and atomic radii together, so I am confused about when you would use which and what the difference is.

Chem_Mod
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### Re: Atomic/covalent radii  [ENDORSED]

Atomic radii are the true radii of atomic elements, while covalent radii represent the relative radii when they are in covalent bonds. Atomic radii can be measured using various methods, and sometimes differ from covalent radii.

Cindy Nguyen 1L
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Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:04 am

### Re: Atomic/covalent radii

I'm confused on how the covalent radius can be different than atomic radius between two atoms. I thought a covalent radius would just be the atomic radius between two atoms that have a covalent bond. Same with an ionic radius but with two atoms with an ionic bond. Is the difference because the covalent radius is an approximate (relative) number whereas the atomic radius is the true number?

Nick Griffin 1K
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:03 am

### Re: Atomic/covalent radii

@ the above question, I think the distance between two atoms in a covalent or ionic bond would be different from the distance between two atoms of an element that you would look at to find the atomic radius, so the radii would be different. The atomic radius is the "true radius" of an element, because covalent bonds are often between two different elements. That is how I understand it, I could be wrong though...

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