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What Is An Ion? How To Determine If An Ion Is Positive Or Negative?

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The word ‘ion’ is introduced by a chemist and by a physicist name Michael Faraday in the year of 1834. The ion describes the different types of chemical species that are responsible to travel from one electrode to another electrode in a solution which is aqueous in nature. The term ‘ion’ is derived from a Greek word ion or ienai which indicates the meaning ‘to go’. While performing the experiment Faraday was not able to recognize that the particles are moving in between the electrodes which are placed in the solution. Faraday knew the fact that the metals which are present at the end of one of the electrodes dissolves itself while the metal present at the other end also dissolves itself. The entire process takes place under the influence of an electric current. Ions can be categorized into two different groups. The two different groups are the cations and the anions. The cations can be stated as the ions that carry the positive charge as the number of protons is more than the number of electrons present. However, the anion can be stated as the ions that are negative charge as the number of electrons is more than the number of cathode. The ion is the charged atom or the molecules. The reason is that the number of electrons which are present is not equal to the number of electrons. The atom can have both positive and the negative charge depending upon whether the number of electrons is more or the number of protons is more in the atom. It can be stated that when an atom is attracted towards another atom due to the unequal number of electrons and protons, this process is known as the ION.  The atom can also be neutral in charge if the number of protons is equal to the number of electrons present in the atom. However, the number of electrons in the atom plays one of the major role in all type of chemical reactions.

The formation of the ions can occur in two different ways. There are two formations that can be done. The formation of the cation and the formation of the anion. There are various ways in which the ions can be created. The ions can be created with the help of chemical means. The chemical means involves the dissolution of a salt into water, it can also be done in physical means that is by passing current through conducting solution, the solution will help in dissolving the anode with the help of ionization. The formation led to the formation of either the cation or the anion. The formation can be done either by giving up of the electrons or by taking of the electrons. In both the cases there is exchange related with the ions. The formation of the ions take place either an atom gains one or more than one electrons and give rise to the negative ion. On the other hand, an atom gives up one or more electrons in order to be a positive ion. The formation is either by gain or loss of the electrons. The atom is made either by giving back or taking away of the electrons. With the help of an example it will be more easy to understand the different ways in which the ion can be formed. Suppose an atom of hydrogen atom which consists of one proton and it also consists of one electron in the outermost orbit.  It consists of the positive charged protons, it also contains a negative charge electron. Both the charges cancel out which led to the formation of hydrogen with neutral charge. It is observed that the atom of the hydrogen loses its negative charged electrons and it is only left with the positive charged particle that is protons. This atom is now stated as the hydrogen ion. The hydrogen ion is denoted as H+. In case of the neutral atom when it forms ions it is observed that the atoms of most of the elements have the tendency to either gain or lose electrons until they have attained the stability or they have obtained the configuration that consists of the same configuration or the configuration nearest to that of the noble gas. The positive ions are known as the cations and the negative ions are known as the anions.

There are different ways in which the charge of the atoms whether it is positive ion or it is negative ion can be easily determined. The cation is formed when the atom loses the electrons and that electrons is gained by a non- metal. There is an electrostatic force which is acting between the two particles that helps in bringing together of the both the particles and helps in creating an ionic compound. The very first step that is necessary to study the ionic charge of an element is with the help of the periodic table. In the periodic table the different characteristics related to the element can be easily studied. While moving from left of the periodic table it is observed that the ionic charge of the elements is positive. The non-metals are the one which is encountered in the right of the periodic table. It is observed that the non-metals are the one which consists of the negative charge that is the anions. However, it can be stated that an atom is the building block of the elements and consists of both positive and negative charges. An element can be taken as an example where an atom consists of a fixed number of positive protons which is inside the nucleus. An example can be taken of an element such as sodium, which consists of 11 protons which is within its nucleus and it consists of 11 electrons. The formation of the charge occurs when an atom is unable to balance between its number of protons and electrons. In case of sodium it consists of 11 electrons that is present in the orbit. The first two shells which are there in sodium are full and in the third shell there is only one electrons. It is easier for the sodium to lose that one electron from its outermost shell and acquire the positive charge.  This tendency is helpful for providing or to determine the charges of the elements. The charge can be either positive or negative for all the elements. The loss or gain of the electrons helps to recognize whether the ion is positive or negative ion. Positive ions lose its electrons. On the other hand, negative ions gain the electrons.

There are different ways in which the ionic formula of the ionic compound can be easily written. The ionic compound is the one which does not exist in the form of molecules. When the ionic compound is in the solid state then it is in the form of the crystal lattice that consists of different ions comprising of cations and anions. NaCl is an ionic formula as well as an empirical formula for the compound. The formula can easily indicate that sodium chloride consists of equal number of both the ions that is the sodium and the chloride ions. Sodium sulfide is another type of ion having the combination of the sulfide ions and the sodium ions.It ionic formula is Na2 S. The formula helps in indicating that the compound is made up of twice of the sodium ions compare to the sulfide ions. In case of the binary ionic compound it requires the knowledge about the chemical formula. In such case it requires writing down of the charge of the metal ion which is then followed by the charge of the non- metal ion. It is so written because the overall charge of the compound is neutral. It is important to decided that what is the required order of the positive and negative charges so that both can cancel each other and helps in the formation of the neutral atom. There is also a different method that can help in writing the formula of the ionic compound. The method is the criss-cross method. In the criss- cross method the numerical value of the ion changes when it is crossed over and it led to the formation of the subscript of the other ions. The sign of the charges which are present is dropped. In some cases, the charges are even dropped to the lowest ratio. For example, in case of sodium oxide. Sodium is denoted with Na and oxide is denoted with O.  The charge of both the sodium and oxide is Na+ and O2-. After the combination it can be written as Na+O2-.In such cases the lowest common multiple is 2. Therefore, the final formula can be written as Na2O. This is the ionic formula for the sodium oxide. However, it can be stated that ionic compound mostly deals with the charge. The charge which is the result of the exchange of the electrons present in the atom.

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