As a general rule, *stronger *bonds have *shorter *lengths and *more *force. They also require *higher *energy to break. It's a simplification (the detailed answer would involve quantum mechanics), but you can think of this as being related to Coulomb's law: Electrostatic force is proportional to `F approx 1/r^2`, so...

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As a general rule, *stronger *bonds have *shorter *lengths and *more *force. They also require *higher *energy to break.

It's a simplification (the detailed answer would involve quantum mechanics), but you can think of this as being related to Coulomb's law: Electrostatic force is proportional to `F approx 1/r^2`, so if r is small, F is large, and that means a stronger bond. More electrons that participate in a bond create a stronger force, and so produce bonds that require the electrons to get closer in order to reach equilibrium.

Bond distances and atomic radii are closely related, and both lengths decrease across the row of the Periodic Table (as you add electrons to a shell), but increase down a column (as you add electron shells).