No charge

Here’s the answer to my last blog, 25th July 2012

Why do atoms go free but ions don’t?  Because atoms have no charge.  Ions on the other hand are charged particles.

So how do sodium and chlorine atoms become ions when they react to make sodium chloride?

Image

Dot and cross diagrams for sodium and chlorine

When atoms react, they do so to gain a full outer shell of electrons and so become more stable (like the nearest noble gas). For sodium and chlorine this means they will react to get 8 electrons in their outer shells.

Given that the atoms could either gain or lose electrons, what is the easiest way for sodium and chlorine to each get 8 electrons in their outer shell?

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