What happens when the protons and electrons don't equal each other?

1 Answer

Then you have an ion.


If the number of protons is the same as the number of electrons, the particle will have no charge.

A helium atom has 2 protons and 2 electrons.

If atoms gain electrons they become negatively charged ions. These are also called anions.

Fluorine has 9p and 9e as an atom, it forms an anion with a -1 charge when it gains 1 electron.

Lithium atoms have 3p and 3e. They lose 1 electron to form a +1 cation.

Here is a video to provide a bit more help with this concept.

This video reviews how to determine the number of protons, neutrons and electrons present in neutral atoms.

Hope this helps!