Difference between atom and ion - 88tuition

Difference between atom and ion - 88tuition



A particle, the littlest component unit, is made out of a firmly pressed, decidedly charged core encircled by adversely charged electrons. An atom has two parts: the extra nucleus region and the atomic structure. The neutral neutron (n°) and the positively charged proton (P+) comprise the atomic structure. There are electrons with a negative charge (e-) in the additional nucleus. Mass exists in both atoms and all other elements and compounds. The majority of an atom's mass is concentrated by the protons that make up its nucleus. When compared to electrons and neutrons, protons possess the greatest mass. The hydrogen atom's nucleus is home to one proton, surrounded by one electron. Hydrogen is the element with the greatest lightness. The nucleus of each atom contains a predetermined number of protons, each of which attracts a predetermined number of electrons, rendering the atom electrically neutral. Ions can be produced by adding or removing electrons from an atom.

Features of atoms on the bases of modern atomic theory 

The term "modern atomic theory" refers to the most recent or paradigmatic theory of atoms. The modern atomic theory is atomic physicists' best explanation for how atoms appear and behave. According to the fundamentals of atomic theory, atoms are the smallest units of chemical matter.

 Elements are the simplest chemical compounds that cannot be further broken down chemically.

  • The atoms of each element are distinct from those of any other element. Subatomic particles, on the other hand, can form when atoms break apart much further.

  • Each of the atoms that make up each element has the same number of protons, which are positively charged subatomic particles that are found in the nucleus of the atom.

  • Neutrons can also be found in the nucleus, though their numbers may vary between isotopes of the same type of atom.

  •  Atoms that have the same number of protons but a different number of neutrons are called isotopes. For instance, there are distinct hydrogen isotopes despite the fact that every hydrogen atom contains a single proton; Hydrogen-2 has one neutron, whereas hydrogen-1 does not.

  • Electrostatic forces also attract the positively charged nucleus to the negatively charged quanta electrons that surround it. In many fundamental representations of the atom, electrons are depicted as spheres or particles that revolve around the nucleus, much like planets do around the sun. The fact of the matter is that the nature of electrons is not accurately represented in this illustration. The current atomic model, on the other hand, describes electrons as clouds, waves, probability functions, or even as undecidable.

Formation of ions from atom

Introduction to ions 

When the distribution of protons and electrons in an atom is out of balance, ions form. The most prevalent type of charged particle is ion. It is possible for particles to have both positive and negative charges. If atoms have an electrical charge, they are referred to as ions. An atom with more electrons than protons is referred to as an "anion." When an atom has more protons than electrons, it is called a cation. It is solvable on its own. When electrons are added or taken away from an atom, they form an ion. The two distinct kinds of ions are cations (+) and anions (-).

  • Because there are an equal number of protons and electrons in an atom, it is electrically neutral.

  • Nevertheless, during chemical reactions, atoms try to acquire a stable electronic configuration (duplet or octet) by gaining or losing one or more electrons dependent on valency.

  • When an atom receives an electron, its electron count rises; as a result, it acquires a negative charge.

  • When an atom loses an electron, it receives more protons than it loses, giving the atom a positive charge.

  • Ions are those atoms that produce positive or negative charges.

  • We give an atom the "+" sign when it loses an electron.

  • We give an atom the '-' sign when it gets an electron.  

Difference between atom and ion  



Element's fundamental unit.

An electrically charged atom or molecule.

Possess a protons and electrons ratio of 1:1.

Possess an imbalanced ratio of protons to electrons.

Neutral in charge

Both positively and negatively charged.

They have unstable valence shells and, when independent, are quite reactive.

In contrast, noble gases

They are completely valence-shelled and exhibit excellent stability in their capacity to exist independently.

Both Covalent and ionic bond formation are possible

Only ionic bond

Molecules are composed of atoms.

There are both polyatomic and monatomic ions. They can create lattice networks as well.

  Not drawn to electrical fields.

Depending on the ion's charge can be drawn to an electrical field


A dual structure for an atom is suggested by the current atomic theory. An atom is made up of the nucleus and atomic orbitals. In the nucleus, along with positively charged protons, neutrons have no electric charge. All matter is made up of atoms, the smallest possible particles. Ions are formed when atoms gain or lose electrons. Ions are formed when certain molecules lose or gain electrons; Therefore, not every ion is an atom. The primary distinction between an atom and an ion is that the former has an electrical charge, while the latter does not.

Frequently asked questions

    1. Can we distinguish an ion from the original atom?

    Yes, we can distinguish between an atom and an ion due to differences in chemical and physical properties. Ions can be different sizes than their parent atoms, yes. Anions are larger than their parent atom, whereas cations are typically smaller because they lose the outer electron shell and are held together more loosely.

    2. Do ions and atoms both conduct electricity?

    No, only ions conduct electricity. Ions have a positive or negative ion, allowing them to carry charge in a solvent. Atoms are neutral and thus have no extra electrons to conduct charge. 

    3. Is the half-life of an atom and ion the same?

    Half-life is half of the total time a nucleus takes to decompose. Since both atoms and ions have the same nuclear structure and only differ in the number of electrons, both have the same half-life.