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Larger atoms have high polarizability because they tend to have more loosely held electrons while smaller atoms tend to hold electrons more closely. This makes it easier for their electrons to become distorted by a cation.
Larger atoms have more electrons and thus more shielding occurs. Thus, because electrons are at a greater distance from the nuclear charge and there is less attraction from the nucleus, the electrons are held more loosely, so the electron cloud is more susceptible to being distorted, making it more polarizable.
Larger atoms have higher polarizability not only because their electrons are more loosely held, but also because the larger area makes it more feasible for many electrons to gather at one end of the atom, creating a more noticeable polarity than smaller atoms.
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