# If a lithium atom loses one electron, what will its charge be?

Jan 19, 2017

The metal will have a single positive charge.

#### Explanation:

We examine the reaction:

$L i \left(g\right) \rightarrow L {i}^{+} \left(g\right) + {e}^{-}$

Because mass and charge are always conserved in any chemical reaction, if lithium, or indeed ANY METAL, loses an electron, a $L {i}^{+}$ will result, i.e. a cation. Do you see this?

Of course the alkali metals (and lithium is one) are good reducing agents because this reaction is facile.

What do you get if an iron atom loses an electron?