Are atoms that gain electrons positively or negatively charged?

1 Answer
Mar 31, 2018

Answer:

Negatively Charged if the atom is neutral.

Explanation:

Electrons themselves have a negative charge.

When you add an electron to an atom that is neutral, the atom becomes negatively charged.

Take Sodium (Na) for example. It has 11 (positive) protons and 11 (negative) electrons - it's neutral.

  • If it were to gain an electron, then the Sodium atom would then become
    an ion with a charge of -1.

HOWEVER

If you add an electron to an already positive ion, then it will either stay positive or will become neutral.

  • If you have a Sodium ion with a charge of +2, and you add one
    electron, then the charge will level out to +1.
  • If you have a Sodium ion with a charge of +1, and you add one
    electron, then the charge will return to neutral.

An already negatively charged ion will stay negative when an electron is added.

This all depends however, on what the charge is already and how many electrons are being added.
For Example: If the charge is +1 and the ion gains 2 electrons, then the charge will then be -1.