Someone explain ions to me!

I dont get all the positive and negative ions thing in chemistry!

Answers
I understand your difficulty. Ions are quite hard to get your head around. Firstly you need to understand that ions are atoms or molecules which are positively or negitively charged. Normally an atom has the same number of protons (postively charged) and electrons (negitively charged). this means the charge is 0. Protons are fixed in the centre of the atoms with neutrons and therefore are hard to take away from the atom. Electrons on the other hand are in rings surrounding the atom and therefore can be gained or lost easily. This is how ions are made. So say an atom has 6 protons and 6 electrons to begin with its a balenced atom. The atom looses an electron and is left with 6 protons and 5 electrons. so the atom doesnt have a charge of 0 any more instead it has 1 more proton than electron which mean it is a positive ion. you would write this charge as +1. If an atom has 6 protons (positives) and 6 electrons (negitives) to begin with but this time gains an electron (it can gain electrons from other ions in the air) it will have 6 protons (positives) and 7 electrons (negitives) so the charge of the ion is now negitive because it has more negitive ions than positive ions. you would say this is a negitive ion with a charge of -1. If you need further explaination or help with another areas of chemistry please feel free to contact me.
heather.pyne
23 January 2013
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