Ionic Bonds

You all know about atoms, electrons, protons and neutrons from my previous posts. You may have forgotten, so I’ll give you a quick overview before I go on. In an atom, we have positively charged protons (the number of protons determine the element) in the center, with a same amount of negatively charged electrons being attracted to the protons and floating around. Neutrons (which are not charged at all) fit in with the protons to keep them repelling each other into oblivion.

Now on to the subject at hand. You know how I had wrote in previous posts that atoms bond to each other, but I did not say how. Here is one of the ways atoms bond to each other, called the Ionic bond.

let’s say we have two elements, Na (sodium) which has 11 protons and 11 electrons, and Cl (chlorine), which has 17 protons and 17 neutrons. The Cl atom and the Na atom come close to each other and Na gives an electron to Cl (I did a blog post on why, and to see it click here). So now Cl has more electrons than protons. Before, when there was a same amount of protons and electrons, the negative and positive charges canceled each other out, but now there is more negative charge, so the whole atom is now negatively charged.

Na, on the other hand, just lost an electron, so there is more positive charge than negative, making Na positively charged. Now, as you all know, opposites attract, so the two atoms that are already very close to one another fly together, and we have a bit of salt for our food.


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