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Question

Arrange the following elements in the decreasing order of their atomic radius: carbon, lithium, sodium.

A
Lithium > Sodium > Carbon
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B
Carbon > Lithium > Sodium
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C
Sodium > Lithium > Carbon
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D
Carbon > Sodium > Lithium
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Solution

The correct option is C Sodium > Lithium > Carbon
Atomic radius is the distance between the nucleus of the atom and its outermost shell.

Lithium and carbon are present in same period of the periodic table. As we move from left to right along the period, the atomic radii decreases as the effective nuclear charge increases.
Thus, lithium > carbon.

However, as we go down the group the atomic size increases due to the decrease in effective nuclear charge. As lithium and sodium are present in the same group, thus sodium > lithium.

Overall the decreasing order of the atomic radius is:
Sodium > Lithium > Carbon.

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