Julia Lindner 1I
Posts: 35
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:17 am

What exactly is the covalent radius of an atom and how is it different from its atomic radius?

mcredi
Posts: 63
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:16 am

### Re: Covalent Radius

Atomic radius applies to a single atom. It is the distance from the center of the nucleus to the boundary of its electron cloud. Covalent radius applies when two atoms of the same species are bonded. It is half of the distance between the two nuclei.

Lily Benitez 2G
Posts: 63
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:29 am

### Re: Covalent Radius

When you have a covalent bond between atoms you can find the covalent radius. The distance between the two nuclei of the atoms will give you the diameter so you would have to divide by two. Atomic radius is just focusing on one atom.

Tessa Lawler 1A
Posts: 57
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:18 am

### Re: Covalent Radius

Another important note here is that a covalent bond is the sharing of electrons. So when two atoms are covalently bonded, their closeness to one another is because they are sharing electrons, which contribute to their radii. So there may be a sort of "overlap" of those outer valence shells. So an atom's atomic radius is going to be larger than it's covalent radius, because the covalent radius is half of the distance between the two atoms' centers, and those centers are closer because of the sharing nature of the covalent bond.