Definition - What does Ion mean?

Ion is an atom or group of atoms that does not have equal number of electrons and protons which give the molecule or atom a net negative or positive electrical charge. When electrons are less than protons, the atom tends to be a positive ion called cation. When the electrons are more than the protons, it is said to be a negative ion called anion. They are created by either physical or chemical means through ionization. A compound or an atom can be individually ionized.

Petropedia explains Ion

Ions can be found in solid or liquid states when the salts and solvents interact to yield solvated ions which are more stable. These stable ions are found commonly in an environment which has low temperatures. Ions are not present in gaseous state in large amounts, except in lightning, electrical sparks, flames and several other plasmas which are highly reactive. Ions are charged, thus they have similar properties like charged objects:

  • They are repelled by objects with like charges.
  • They are attracted to objects with opposite electric charge.
  • They travel in trajectories while moving.
  • They are deflected by magnetic field.
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