Chemistry: The Central Science (13th Edition)

Published by Prentice Hall
ISBN 10: 0321910419
ISBN 13: 978-0-32191-041-7

Chapter 7 - Periodic Properties of the Elements - Exercises: 7.19d

Answer

If a free atom reacts to become part of a molecule, that atom gets smaller.

Work Step by Step

The atomic radius of a free atom would be the nonbonding atomic radius of that atom. When that free atom reacts to become a part of a molecule, then now its radius would be the bonding atomic radius of that atom. Since bonding atomic radius is smaller than nonbonding atomic radius, a transformation from nonbonding to bonding atomic radius means the atom has grown smaller.
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