Ions - Ions The nucleus of an atom(containing protons and...

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Ions The nucleus of an atom (containing protons and neutrons) remains unchanged after ordinary chemical reactions, but atoms can readily gain or lose electrons . If electrons are lost or gained by a neutral atom, then the result is that a charged particle is formed - called an ion . For example, Sodium (Na) has 11 protons and 11 electrons. However, it can easily lose 1 electron. The resulting cation has 11 protons and 10 electrons, for an overall net charge of 1+ (the units are electron charge). The ionic state of an atom or compound is represented by a superscript to the right of the chemical formula: Na + , Mg 2+ (note the in the case of 1+, or 1-, the '1'is omitted). In contrast to the Na atom, the Chlorine atom (Cl) easily gains 1 electron to yield the chloride ion Cl - (i.e. 17 protons and 18 electrons). In general, metal atoms tend to lose electrons, and nonmetal atoms tend to gain electrons. Na + and Cl - are simple ions , in contrast to polyatomic ions such as NO 3 - (nitrate ion) and SO 4 2- (sulfate ion). These are compounds made up of chemically bonded atoms,
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