A nitride ion has 7 protons, 8 neutrons, and 10 electrons. What is the overall charge on this ion?

1 Answer
Jul 3, 2016



The net charge of an ion is given by the balance that exists between the number of protons present in the nucleus and the number of electrons that surround the nucleus.


Neutrons play no role in the net charge of an atom, so you can ignore them here.

When an atom has equal numbers of protons and electrons, its net charge is equal to zero, i.e. it is a neutral atom.

In your case, the nitride ion is said to have

  • seven protons in its nucleus
  • ten electrons surrounding its nucleus

The neutral atom would have contained #7# protons and #7# electrons. Notice that the neutral atom gained #3# electrons to form the negatively charged ion, or anion.

The magnitude of the negative charge is given by the difference between the number of protons and the number of electrons. In this case, each extra electron will add a charge of #1-# to the ion.

You will thus have

#3 color(red)(cancel(color(black)("extra e"^(-)))) * ((1-)color(white)(a)"charge")/(1color(red)(cancel(color(black)("extra e"^(-))))) = (3-)color(white)(a)"charge"#

Therefore, the overall charge on the nitride anion is #(3-)#.

#"N"^(3-) -># the nitride anion