What is the difference between an ion and an atom?

1 Answer

Atoms are neutral particles, ions have a charge.


Atoms are neutral because they have an equal number of protons (+) and electrons (-).

Ions are charged particles which are formed when atoms either gain or lose electrons. When atoms gain or lose electrons they become more stable.

Here is a review of what happens when ions form.

And here is a review of the basic structure of atoms...

Hope this helps!