What is the overall charge of the electron cloud of an atom? Why?

1 Answer
Oct 3, 2016

Answer:

Well, what is the atomic number, #Z#, of the given element?

Explanation:

A given element has an atomic number of #Z#. What does this mean? It means that there are #Z# positive nuclear charges, and this determines the identity of the element. If the element is neutral, this means that there are precisely #Z# electrons, and the overall electronic charge is #-Z#. And thus the net ELECTRIC charge of the ATOM is #Z+(-Z)=0#, i.e. #"zero"#.

Is this clear?