# Which of the following does not describe an ion: positive, negative, or neutral?

Jan 16, 2017

An ion contains an $\text{EXCESS or DEFICIENCY}$ of electrons.......so you tell us!

#### Explanation:

A neutral atom can lose an electron to become a cation:

$M \rightarrow {M}^{+} + {e}^{-}$

Or gain an electron to become an anion:

$M + {e}^{-} \rightarrow {M}^{-}$

So which is the neutral species?

Note that all chemical reactions conserve mass and charge. Are mass and charge conserved here? How? Why can't a given atom lose the other, POSITIVELY charged, particle.