Atomic Volume Definition

What Atomic Volume Is and How to Calculate It

Atomic volume refers to the volume occupied by an atom at room temperature.
Atomic volume refers to the volume occupied by an atom at room temperature. JESPER KLAUSEN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY / Getty Images

Atomic Volume Definition

The atomic volume is the volume one mole of an element occupies at room temperature.

Atomic volume is typically given in cubic centimeters per mole - cc/mol.

The atomic volume is a calculated value using the atomic weight and the density using the formula:

atomic volume = atomic weight/density

Another way to calculate atomic volume is to use the atomic or ionic radius of an atom (depending on whether or not you are dealing with an ion).

This calculate is based on the idea of an atom as a sphere, which isn't precisely accurate. However, it's a decent approximation.

In this case, the formula for the volume of a sphere is used:

volume = (4/3)(π)(r3)

where r is the atomic radius

For example, a hydrogen atom has an atomic radius of 53 picometers. The volume of a hydrogen atom would be:

volume = (4/3)(π)(533)

volume = 623000 cubic picometers (approximately)

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Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Atomic Volume Definition." ThoughtCo, Dec. 9, 2017, thoughtco.com/definition-of-atomic-volume-604374. Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. (2017, December 9). Atomic Volume Definition. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/definition-of-atomic-volume-604374 Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Atomic Volume Definition." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/definition-of-atomic-volume-604374 (accessed January 19, 2018).