How is an ion formed?


When an atom or group of atoms loses or gains electrons or protons, it becomes an ion. The primary difference between normal atoms and ions is that normal atoms typically have a neutral charge while ions are either positively or negatively charged. When atoms gain protons or lose electrons, they become positively charged. By contrast, atoms that lose protons or gain electrons become negatively charged.

A variety of factors can cause atoms to attain an electrical charge. Sometimes, atoms lose or gain electrons when they are dissolved in a solution. Atoms that form ions when dissolved in solution are called electrolytes, while those that do not form ions in solution are called non-electrolytes. Electrolytes conduct electricity, whereas non-electrolytes do not conduct electricity when in a solution. Very high temperatures, such as those found in the sun, also create ions. Radiation can also cause neutral atoms to gain or lose electrons and become ions.

Ions composed of a single charged atom are called simple ions, while clusters of atoms that have a net charge are called complex ions. Positively charged ions are called cations, whereas negatively charged ions are called anions. Often times, cations and anions combine to form a group of atoms that balance each other, offsetting the charges of the individual ions.

Q&A Related to "How is an ion formed?"
To understand what an ion is, you need to understand what a valence shell and a valence electron are. A valence shell is the outer-most orbit section of an atom. The number of valence
An positive ion (cation) is formed by removing electron(s) from an atom or group of atoms. Only metals form positive ions - this ability (to lose electrons) is intrinsic to the nature
Polyatomic and molecular ions are often formed by the combination of elemental ions such as H+'s-forme...
Three. In fact, any element in the same column of the periodic table as nitrogen will also gain three electrons when forming an ion.
1 Additional Answer Answer for: How Is an Ion Formed
How to Form an Ion
An ion is an atom or a compound that has an electrical charge. Ions with a positive charge are cations, those with a negative charge are anions. Ions are found everywhere in nature and are an important and natural part of the human body. There are many... More »
Difficulty: Easy
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