Why is it impossible to measure the exact atomic radius? If it is really impossible, then on what basis we give atomic radii of different atoms?

Dear Student,

It is not possible to determine the exact atomic radius due to the following reasons :
  • An atom cannot be isolated to measure its size. 
  • According to the probability concept, the exact position of an electron cannot be determined. This means atoms donot have a well defined fixed boundary.
  • The size of an atom depends upon the type of atoms in its neighbourhood and also on the nature of bonding. As a result size of an atom may be different for different compounds. 
Due to these reasons, estimated atomic radii are called effective atomic radii. They are of three types : Covalent, metallic and van der waal. 
Each radii is measured differently. 
All of these radius are  defined as the half distance between the nuclei of two similar or adjacent atoms. 

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Yes it is impossible to determine the exact atomic radii so we considered nuclear charge for determine the atomic radius between two atom nuclear charge is inversely proportional to atomic radii
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