• What is an ion?

    February 5, 2015
    What is an ion?

    Not many people are well-versed in various terms, theories, and laws of physics and chemistry. And some, maybe, only start to study these disciplines. Therefore, certain concepts may be unknown or forgotten. For example, the word "ion" is familiar to very many people, however, let us remember what an ion is and what properties it possesses.

    What is an ion

    The word and the concept of "ion" came to us from the ancient Greek language and translates as "going." The ion is a charged particle. Consequently, an ion can have both positive and negative charge. A charged particle can be both an atom and a molecule or a free radical. The charge in this case is a multiple of the electron charge.

    In the free state, ions are found everywhere in any aggregate state of a substance. They can be found in gases, liquids, alloys, crystals and plasma.

    If the ion is negative, then it is called an anion, while a positive charge is called a cation. These names were introduced by the scientist Michael Faraday, who discovered the ions.

    The term "ion" was also coined by physicist and chemist Michael Faraday in 1834, when he studied the effects of electric current on various aqueous solutions. It was then that he concluded that the electrical conductivity of various alkaline, acidic, and salt solutions depends on the movement of particular particles, which he called ions and divided into positive and negative charges.

    Ions have several basic physical properties:

    • Ions are active substances and interact with atoms, molecules, free radicals and the same ions. They are involved in a variety of different reactions.
    • In an electric field, ions transfer electricity to the desired electrodes with opposite charges.
    • In living organisms, ions also play a huge role by conducting nerve impulses.
    • Ions can act as a catalyst or intermediate particles in chemical reactions.
    • Ionic reactions in electrolytic solutions occur instantly;
    • Positive hydrogen ions are protons in physics. Protons and neutrons form all the nuclei of atoms. Such a proton can be obtained by ionization of a hydrogen atom.

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