If you look up an element on Wikipedia, it will list covalent, ionic, Van Der Waals, high-and-low -spin, and finally 'empirical atomic radius'.

Then, on the page for atomic radius, the chart of 'empirically-determined atomic radii' shows numbers that are all higher than on the individual elements' pages.

Then, farther down on the Atomic radius page, it lists 'calculated radii' which are even higher!

(Almost always, in all these cases, these numbers are supposedly referring to covalent states).

The latest measurements seem to be getting further and further away, smaller and smaller, from the calculated radii. What gives?

The 'high-spin covalent' number refers to electron spin, not nuclear, right? But when is a covalent bond in a high spin state? I thought most molecules were in a singlet state?

  • $\begingroup$ "Atomic radius" is an umbrella term for a great many values, all vastly different, barely related at all. $\endgroup$ Jun 26 '19 at 20:36
  • $\begingroup$ Cross-posted to Physics. $\endgroup$
    – rob
    Jun 26 '19 at 23:15
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's cross-posted here. $\endgroup$
    – Todd Minehardt
    Jun 27 '19 at 22:39