Chemistry & Chemical Reactivity

10th Edition
John C. Kotz + 3 others
ISBN: 9781337399074



Chemistry & Chemical Reactivity

10th Edition
John C. Kotz + 3 others
ISBN: 9781337399074
Textbook Problem

Why are copper atoms (radius = 128 pm) slightly larger than iron atoms (radius = 124 pm)?

Interpretation Introduction


The copper atoms are slightly larger than iron atoms; the reason has to be explained.

Concept Introduction:

Atomic radius: The concept explain chemical element is a measured of the size of its atoms, in other words to measure the distance from the center of the nucleus to the boundary of the surrounding cloud of number of electrons.

Electronic configuration: The electronic configuration is the distribution of electrons of an given molecule or respective atoms in atomic or molecular orbitals.

The aufbau principle: This rule statues that ground state of an atom or ions electrons fill atomic orbitals of the lowest available energy levels before occupying higher levels. If consider the 1s shell is filled the 2s subshell is occupied.

Hund's Rule: The every orbital in a subshell is singly occupied with one electron before any one orbital is doubly occupied, and all electrons in singly occupied orbitals have the same spin.


The copper (Cu) system is having larger electrons (d9 system) in respective orbital shells but Iron (Fe) having lesser electrons in its electrons (d6 system) shells. The (Cu) electrons repulsion much larger when compare to (Fe) orbital shells, so Iron atom radii little smaller.

Let us consider the (Cu)and(Fe) electronic configuration for using its orbital notations boxes.

  • Electronic configuration of Cupper (Cu):

  Atomicnumber (Z)ofCopper (Cu)= 29spdfwith noble gas notation=[Ar]3d104s1Orbitalboxnotation       = [Ar]3d104s1

The cupper (Cu) is a (11) group element and 4th periodic position in the periodic table, hence the electronic configuration of (Cu) element is (Ar) noble gas configuration followed by electrons filled in the valence electron orbitals, as shown above

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