Most atoms do not have eight electron in your valence electron shell. Part atoms have actually only a few electrons in their outer shell, while some atoms absence only one or two electrons to have actually an octet. In cases where one atom has actually three or under valence electrons, the atom may shed those valence electron quite conveniently until what continues to be is a lower shell that includes an octet. Atom that shed electrons gain a hopeful charge as a resultbecause they are left through fewer negatively fee electrons to balance the confident charges the the protons in the nucleus. Positively charged ion are referred to as cations. Most metals end up being cations as soon as they do ionic compounds.

You are watching: What happens when an atom loses or gains an electron

## Cations

A neutral sodium atom is likely to attain an octet in the outermost covering by losing its one valence electron.

The cation produced in this way, Na+, is referred to as the salt ion to identify it native the element. The outermost shell of the salt ion is the 2nd electron shell, which has actually eight electrons in it. The octet preeminence has to be satisfied. Number (PageIndex1) is a graphical relenten of this process.

api/deki/files/114134/3.2B.jpg?revision=1" />Figure (PageIndex2): The development of a Chlorine Ion. Top top the left, the chlorine atom has actually 17 electrons. On the right, the chloride ion has actually 18 electrons and also has a 1− charge.

The names for confident and an adverse ions are pronounced CAT-eye-ons and ANN-eye-ons, respectively.

See more: How Do You Write 60% As A Fraction In Simplest Form? Percent To Fraction Conversion Calculator

In numerous cases, facets that belong come the same team (vertical column) ~ above the routine table kind ions with the exact same charge due to the fact that they have the same variety of valence electrons. Thus, the regular table becomes a tool for psychic the dues on many ions. For example, all ions made native alkali metals, the very first column on the regular table, have a 1+ charge. Ions made native alkaline planet metals, the 2nd group on the periodic table, have a 2+ charge. On the other side of the regular table, the next-to-last column, the halogens, kind ions having a 1− charge. Figure (PageIndex3) shows how the fee on plenty of ions can be guess by the place of an aspect on the periodic table. Keep in mind the convention of first writing the number and then the sign on a ion with multiple charges. The barium cation is composed Ba2+, no Ba+2.