Q:

Why are atoms neutral?

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Quick Answer

Atoms are neutral because they have same number of positively charged particles, protons, and negatively charged particles, electrons. The amount of charge in a single proton is equal to the amount of charge possessed by a single electron. Atoms also have another particle type in the nucleus called neutrons that have no charge. Protons and neutrons have equal mass, while electrons have a mass considered to be as zero.

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Why are atoms neutral?
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All atoms are neutral at normal condition. But when excited, atoms can have an unequal number of electrons and protons. At that condition, atoms are referred to as ions rather than atoms. When it contains fewer electrons than protons, the atom is called a cation, or positively charged ion. Conversely, when it contains more electrons than protons, the atom is called an anion, or negatively charged ion. The number of electrons that surround the nucleus determines whether or not an atom is electrically charged or neutral. While the electrons are attracted to the protons of the nucleus, the addition of energy to an atom can persuade the electrons to leave an atom, which makes it an ion. Without the formation of ions, it isn't possible to form atomic bonds, especially ionic bonds.

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Related Questions

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    What is the charge of a neutron?

    A:

    Neutrons are the particles in an atom that have a neutral charge. Protons and electrons are other particles found in an atom. Protons have a positive charge and neutrons have a negative one.

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  • Q:

    How are cations formed?

    A:

    Cations form when metal atoms lose electrons and create positively charged particles. Anions, the opposite of cations, appear when nonmetal atoms gain electrons and form negative charges. The For Dummies reference website states that metal and nonmetal ions combine to form ionic compounds, such as sodium chloride, which is commonly known as table salt.

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    Why do ions form?

    A:

    Ions are positively or negatively charged particles that form as a result of an atom losing an electron or gaining a proton. Ions form when metals react with nonmetals and exchange protons or electrons. In an ionized particle, the number of protons is not equal to the number of electrons.

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    What holds particles together ?

    A:

    The strong nuclear force holds the particles of an atom's nucleus together. The subatomic particles affected by the strong force are called nucleons and consist of protons and neutrons.

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