Atomic Radius vs Covalent Radius

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Joanne Yuh 3I
Posts: 103
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:42 pm

Atomic Radius vs Covalent Radius

Postby Joanne Yuh 3I » Sun Nov 15, 2020 5:36 pm

Is there a difference between atomic radius and covalent radius? I know that the atomic radius and ionic radius are different but I'm not sure where the covalent radius stands.

Jillian Labador 3E
Posts: 97
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:42 pm

Re: Atomic Radius vs Covalent Radius

Postby Jillian Labador 3E » Sun Nov 15, 2020 5:40 pm

Hi! I believe covalent radius refers to a covalent bond that forms between two nonmetal atoms (low electronegativity difference) while ionic radius refers to an ionic bond that forms between a nonmetal and a metal (high electronegativity difference). Atomic radius is more of an umbrella term that refers to either a covalent bond or an ionic bond that forms between two atoms. Hope this helps!

Eva Becker
Posts: 54
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:40 pm

Re: Atomic Radius vs Covalent Radius

Postby Eva Becker » Sun Nov 15, 2020 5:41 pm

Hi! Covalent radius is half the distance of the covalent bond between two atoms' nuclei. Atomic radius is the distance from a neutral atom's nucleus to its outermost valence shell. A key distinction here is that atomic radius refers to ONE atom's distance from its nucleus to valence shell whereas covalent radius refers to half the distance of the bond length between TWO atoms. Hope this helps!

Linette Choi 3L
Posts: 88
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:51 pm

Re: Atomic Radius vs Covalent Radius

Postby Linette Choi 3L » Sun Nov 15, 2020 6:24 pm

Covalent radius is half the distance between the centers of atoms in nonmetals or metalloids while atomic radius is half the distance between the centers of neighboring atoms.

Jaclyn Schwartz 1I
Posts: 94
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:45 pm

Re: Atomic Radius vs Covalent Radius

Postby Jaclyn Schwartz 1I » Sun Nov 15, 2020 8:00 pm

Yes there is a difference! Atomic radius is the most common term, which is the distance to the atoms nucleus. A covalent radius is when you measure the distance between two covenantally bonded atoms and take half the distance.

Sameer Chowdhury 3C
Posts: 87
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:41 pm

Re: Atomic Radius vs Covalent Radius

Postby Sameer Chowdhury 3C » Sun Nov 15, 2020 8:07 pm

From how I understand it, the covalent radius can be half the distance between the nuclei of any two covalently bonded atoms while atomic radius specifically refers to when it is half the distance between the nuclei of two of the same atom.

Alex Benson
Posts: 70
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:44 pm

Re: Atomic Radius vs Covalent Radius

Postby Alex Benson » Sun Nov 15, 2020 9:12 pm

Hi! To my understanding the covalent radius refers to strictly covalent bonds distance between two atoms, whereas the atomic radius is the term used to describe the bond between two atoms of the same elements.


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