Video: Forming an Anion from a Neutral Atom via Reduction Process

How does an atom form an anion?

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Video Transcript

How does an atom form an anion?

First, let’s remind ourselves what an anion is. An anion is a negatively charged ion. To form an anion, our atom, which is neutral, needs to gain negative charge. It does this by gaining electrons. Normally, our atom has the same number of protons as it does electrons. This gives our atom an overall neutral charge. If we add an extra electron to our atom, we’re going to tip the balance of the charge.

Now that we have more negative charges than positive charges, the overall charge on our atom is negative. An atom with a negative charge is called an anion. Remember that if an ion has a positive charge, it’s called a cation. So, how does an atom form an anion? The answer is by gaining electrons.

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