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While comparing atomic radius, two factors are important:

A. Decrease in size due to increase in effective nuclear charge

B. Increase in size due to increase in shielding effect

I was surprised to find a regular decrease in the atomic radius of 3d series elements on this site because that would mean that effective nuclear charge is dominating in case of each element more than shielding factor.


I have also attached the screenshot of the values of atomic radii of 3d series elements(given in Angstrom).

On some previous stackexchange posts like this one

Variation in atomic sizes in the transition elements

I have found that from Ni to Zn there is a regular increase in size.

Are the values shown on this site wrong? If yes, can you please provide the correct values. If not, can you please explain why shielding wouldn't be as effective as increase in nuclear charge?

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    $\begingroup$ I looked up the numbers in Greenwood & Earnshaw 2ed. I don't know about the exact values, (and it probably varies from source to source depending on how the data was obtained), but there is definitely a decrease. I really have no clue why that question that you linked says that there is an increase. $\endgroup$ – orthocresol Jul 12 '17 at 16:32
  • $\begingroup$ there is gradual decrese in the atomic radius ,due toeffective nuclear charge but tehey are almost the same due to shielding effect $\endgroup$ – aaditYA Mar 10 '19 at 7:30
  • $\begingroup$ Many books do show an increase from Ni to Zn. The Elements by John Emsley (Clarendon Press 1998) actually has an increase from Fe (124) to Co, NI (125), Cu(128), Zn (133). I suspect the increasing values are largely the result of different measurement methods/precision etc., but the apparent exception to the periodic trend was then accepted as truth and post-hoc rationalized and then cemented as a source of questions for students along with other periodic trend exceptions. I've seen questions about this on a number of exams. $\endgroup$ – Andrew Mar 10 '19 at 12:06

Periodic Table Website confirms these atomic radii. So why does the atomic radius decrease? The nucleus of the atom gains protons moving from left to right, which increases the positive charge of the nucleus which attracts electrons. Although electrons are also added as the elements move from left to right across a period, these electrons reside in the same energy shell and therefore do not offer increased shielding.

Source: Periodic Trends

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