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When atomic size increases, polarizability () increases because the electrons are held on less tightly by the nucleus. High polarizability creates the stronger intermolecular forces described by the larger interaction potential energy. The distance between molecules is important but I think that atomic radius has a much more significant effect on polarizability than it does on the distance between molecules. Note that the inverse proportionality to r is relevant when discussing shape (rod vs sphere) because a rod shape will have closer dipole moments and thus a stronger interaction energy.
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