define ions, cations and also anions suspect the fee of one anion or cationbased top top the place of the element in the routine table

In simple rewildtv.comical reactions, the cell core of each atom remains unchanged. Electrons, however, can be added to atom by transfer kind other atoms, shed by carry to various other atoms, or mutual with various other atoms. The transfer and sharing that electrons amongst atoms administrate the rewildtv.comistry the the elements. During the development of some compounds, atoms get or shed electrons, and type electrically charged particles referred to as ions(Figure (PageIndex1); video (PageIndex1))


Figure (PageIndex1): (a) A sodium atom (Na) has equal numbers of protons and also electrons (11) and also is uncharged. (b) A sodium cation (Na+) has actually lost an electron, so it has actually one more proton (11) than electrons (10), offering it an overall positive charge, signified through a superscripted plus sign.

You are watching: Is nitrogen a cation or anion

One can use the regular table come predict whether an atom will kind an anion or a cation, and also you can often predict the charge of the result ion. Atom of plenty of main-group metals lose sufficient electrons to leave them with the same number of electrons as an atom that the coming before noble gas. To illustrate, an atom of one alkali steel (group 1) loser one electron and also forms a cation v a 1+ charge; one alkaline earth metal (group 2) loses 2 electrons and also forms a cation with a 2+ charge, and also so on. Because that example, a neutral calcium atom, v 20 protons and also 20 electrons, readily loses 2 electrons. This outcomes in a cation through 20 protons, 18 electrons, and also a 2+ charge. It has the same number of electrons as atoms that the preceding noble gas, argon, and also is symbolized Ca2+. The surname of a metal ion is the very same as the surname of the metal atom indigenous which it forms, for this reason Ca2+ is called a calcium ion.

When atom of nonmetal elements form ions, they typically gain sufficient electrons to give them the same number of electrons together an atom of the next noble gas in the routine table. Atom of group 17 gain one electron and form anions with a 1− charge; atom of team 16 get two electron and form ions with a 2− charge, and also so on. Because that example, the neutral bromine atom, through 35 protons and also 35 electrons, can obtain one electron to provide it through 36 electrons. This outcomes in an anion through 35 protons, 36 electrons, and a 1− charge. It has the same variety of electrons as atoms the the next noble gas, krypton, and also is symbolized Br−. (A discussion of the theory supporting the favored condition of noble gas electron numbers reflected in these predictive rules for ion formation is provided in a later on chapter that this text.)

Note the usefulness of the routine table in predicting likely ion formation and charge (Figure (PageIndex2)). Relocating from the far left to the ideal on the routine table, main-group aspects tend to type cations with a fee equal to the team number. The is, team 1 elements type 1+ ions; group 2 elements form 2+ ions, and so on. Relocating from the much right to the left top top the regular table, facets often form anions with a an adverse charge equal to the variety of groups relocated left indigenous the noble gases. For example, team 17 aspects (one group left of the noble gases) form 1− ions; team 16 elements (two teams left) type 2− ions, and so on. This trend have the right to be supplied as a guide in plenty of cases, yet its predictive value decreases when relocating toward the center of the routine table. In fact, change metals and also some various other metals frequently exhibit variable charges that space not predictable through their location in the table. For example, copper can kind ions v a 1+ or 2+ charge, and also iron can type ions through a 2+ or 3+ charge.


Figure (PageIndex2): Some aspects exhibit a constant pattern of ionic charge when they form ions.

Example (PageIndex2): development of Ions

Magnesium and nitrogen react to form an ionic compound. Predict which forms an anion, which forms a cation, and the dues of every ion. Write the symbol because that each ion and also name them.


Magnesium’s place in the regular table (group 2) tells united state that the is a metal. Metals kind positive ion (cations). A magnesium atom must lose two electrons to have the same number electrons as an atom that the ahead noble gas, neon. Thus, a magnesium atom will form a cation with two under electrons than protons and also a fee of 2+. The symbol because that the ion is Mg2+, and it is referred to as a magnesium ion.

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Nitrogen’s position in the periodic table (group 15) reveals the it is a nonmetal. Nonmetals kind negative ions (anions). A nitrogen atom must acquire three electrons to have the same number of electrons as an atom that the adhering to noble gas, neon. Thus, a nitrogen atom will type an anion v three more electrons than protons and also a fee of 3−. The symbol for the ion is N3−, and also it is referred to as a nitride ion.