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Effective nuclear charge is the attraction between the protons and valence electrons. As the effective nuclear charge increases, the radius of the atom decreases since the valence electrons are being pulled closer to the nucleus. That is why atomic radius decreases from left to right down a row.
Effective nuclear charge, as stated before, is the net positive attraction between protons in the nucleus and the valence electrons. Many different factors affect the effective nuclear charge. For example, shielding leads to decreased effective nuclear charge, increasing atom size leads to decreased effective nuclear charge, and increasing nuclear charge across a period leads to increased effective nuclear charge.
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