# Which is larger, neutral aluminum or its typical ion? Why?

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anor277 Share
Feb 7, 2018

Well, the radius of an atomic or ionic species, is reasonably the radius of its outermost electron....

#### Explanation:

You gots aluminum undergoing ionization, i.e. electron loss..

$A l \left(g\right) + \Delta \rightarrow A {l}^{3 +} \left(g\right) + 3 {e}^{-}$

The radius of the ion thus drops to the radius defined by the orbit of the remaining electrons. The cation is therefore much smaller than its parent atom....

On the other hand, had we started with a non-metal, say atomic chlorine...

$C l + {e}^{-} \rightarrow C {l}^{-}$...the daughter anion would be LARGER than the parent atom. Capisce?

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