How is nitrogen-14 an anion?

Since it has 7 protons, neutrons, and electrons, wouldn't it not be an anion since it does not have a negative electric charge?

1 Answer
Oct 20, 2017

Answer:

An atom of nitrogen-14 is not an anion.

Explanation:

First and foremost, if an atom has equal numbers of protons inside the nucleus and of electrons surrounding the nucleus, then it is electrically neutral, i.e. it is neither a cation nor an anion.

In order for an atom to be an anion, it must have more electrons surrounding the nucleus than protons inside the nucleus.

You know that

#"net charge" = "no. of protons " - " no. of electrons"#

This shows that equal numbers of protons and electrons correspond to a net charge of #0#, i.e. the atom is neutral.

If you have

#"no. of electrons " > " no. of protons"#

then you get

#"net charge" < 0#

In this case, the atom is an anion because it carries a negative net charge.

Also, keep in mind that the identity of the isotope is irrelevant when it comes to the net charge of the atom.

In this case, nitrogen-14 denotes the isotope of nitrogen that has #7# protons and #7# neutrons inside the nucleus. But since the number of neutrons does not influence the net charge of the atom, it is irrelevant in this regard.

In order for nitrogen-14, #""^14"N"#, to be an anion, it must have #7# protons and #7# neutrons inside the nucleus and #10# electrons surrounding the nucleus.

In this case, you have

#"net charge" = 7 - 10 = -3#

which means that the anion carries a #3-# net charge. The symbol for a nitrogen-14 anion will be

#""^14"N"^(3-)#

As a final note, don't forget to review the difference between neutral atoms, cations, and anions.

http://stcolumbas.fireflycloud.net/chemistry/form-iv-chemistry/anions-and-cations