Cations and anions introduction:
Ions which are a part of the science subject Chemistry forms from atoms and electrons that have either gained or lost their weight by the removal or adding of one or more valence electrons which would create either positive or a negative charge. The ions with a negative charge are called anions and the ones with a positive charge are called cations. Since both of them have charges of opposing qualities, they get attracted to one another and thereby forming an ionic bond between them.
Cations and Anions:
What are cations?
Cations are positively charged ions. They are formed when a metal loses its electrons. They lose one or more than one electron and do not lose any protons. Therefore they possess a net positive charge. Some examples of cations are Calcium (Ca2+), Potassium (K+), hydrogen (H+).
What are anions?
Anions are negatively charged ions. They are formed when non-metal gains the electrons. They gain one or more than one electron and do not lose any protons. Therefore they possess a net negative charge. Some examples of anions are Iodide (I–), chlorine (Cl–), hydroxide (OH–).
When sodium a cation is depicted as NA+, the plus charge indicator shows that it has one electron less than the total number of protons. Thus sodium having an uneven distribution of electrons and protons enables it to have a positive charge. Also the element chloride anion Cl- would denote that it has one less proton than the total number of electrons and giving it a minus charge. The difference between Anions and Cations are provided in the table listed below.
Difference Between Anions and Cations
|Definition||An anion may be defined as an atom or molecule that is negatively charged.||A cation may be defined as an atom or molecule that is positively charged.|
|Type of Element||Non-Metal||Metal|
|Type of Electrode used||Anode||Cathode|
|Examples||Sulfide, Oxide, Fluoride, Chloride||Iron, Lead, Sodium|
Anions and cations are both ions. They have an opposite electrical charge, therefore they get attracted to each other. Cation repels other cation whereas anion repels another anion. The number of protons is more than the number of electrons in a cation whereas the number of electrons is more than the number of protons in an anion.
The above differences would have given a clear picture of how these two ions that sound alike differ in nature during a chemical reaction in particular. To learn about more interesting topics like this, download BYJU’S – The Learning App.