By definition, an atom is electrically neutral(i.e. Has the same number of protons together it doeselectrons, to add some number of neutrons dependingon the isotope). If a varieties were charged, that isreferred to as an ion (cation because that positivelycharged and anion because that negatively charged species),also by definition.

You are watching: An atom is electrically neutral when

But this is probably not a an extremely satisfyinganswer. (I personally find answers based ondefinitions nice bland.) possibly an interestingfollow up inquiry is...

Is the cosmos electrically neutral?

For countless instances in science, we transaction withsystems whereby charge neutrality is veryimportant.

Perhaps a usual example you can be familiarwith is table salt, NaCl. prior to formingsalt, both sodium (Na) and also chlorine (Cl) areelectrically neutral atoms. Climate chlorine nabs anelectron from a sodium because it is moreenergetically favorable for it to have anadditional electron. Friend then have a Na+ cationand Cl- anion that combine into NaCl due toelectrostatic attraction. Overall, NaCl is aneutral mechanism (table salt doesn"t shock you whenyou eat it... Hopefully).

This building of electrical neutrality is alsovery important in the work that I carry out every day. Ido computational research study on crystals favor NaClwhere we calculate energies of a range of sortsto know the material. Component of calculatingthe full energy of a mechanism for a decision likeNaCl involves the energy contribution that arisesfrom Coulombic forces in between every combination ofNa+ and Cl- anion. This would typical figuring thisout for something choose 1023 ions (whichis a lot). We perform something a little an ext clever.NaCl is a crystal, which way it has a periodic(i.e. Repeating) structure, so us only need toconsider a unit cell, or small section that canreproduce the whole crystal framework bytranslating it. Yet this method what we version isinfinitely large materials. This is okay for bulkmaterials, since surface results are small.

What is much more worrying room those long rangeCoulombic forces. If we"re not careful, we couldend increase with infinite energy! and also that would be nogood. This can be addressed with a clever means ofadding Coulombic forces (called Ewaldsummation) and also a charge neutral unit cell.

But if countless everyday things we space familiarwith space electrically neutral, walk this mean thatthe universe needs to be electrically neutral?


It"s actually still an open up research question.What perform you think would occur if the universewere just slightly positively charged overall?This is different from being ionized- that justmeans there are positively and also negatively chargedparticles. Yet do these particles have to justbalance each out? You have the right to follow an interestingdiscussion hereor a pretty recent articleabout exactly how the universe can be slightlypositively fee (the math gets a little hairytowards the end, but there luckily is moreexposition overall).

Hope this helps!Best,

Answer 2:

Atoms room made the 3 sub-atomic (smaller 보다 anatom) particles: ghost (neutral), protons(positive), and electrons (negative). As soon as an atomhas the same variety of protons as electrons, thecharges balance each other and the atom isneutral. If the atoms aren"t neutral, castle arevery reactive and will reaction with surrounding atoms toform compounds or perform other reactions. Becausethe air about us contains many gas molecules, anycharged atom (called ions) will conveniently react. Ifyou want to keep free ions you require to have actually areally great vacuum with no various other atoms about thatcan react through the complimentary ions. Opposing of freeions are bound ions, which are fairly common. Theseare ions that have actually reacted with various other atoms tomake a stable compound, choose table salt, i m sorry ismade of optimistic sodium ion and an adverse chlorideions.

Answer 3:

When an atom is electrically neutral, the meansthat the all at once charge the the atom is zero. Atomsare consisted of of positively fee particles calledprotons and also negatively charged particles calledelectrons and non-charged particles calledneutrons. The fee from a proton or electron areof equal strength, as such if one atom has actually anequal variety of protons and electrons, it will beelectrically neutral.

However, atoms space not constantly electricallyneutral, in which case they are referred to as ions. Anion is one atom that has actually lost or obtained electronsresulting in a hopeful charge (from losingelectrons) or a negative charge (from gainingelectrons).

Answer 4:

They don"t need to be. In one atom, there are acertain number of positively-charged protons.Positively-charged proton attractnegatively-charged electrons, but thenegatively-charged electron repel one-another. Asa result, the atom can attract a number ofelectrons until it has actually equal numbers of protonsand electrons, do the atom neutral.

There are a lot of of means to do a non-neutralatom, though. Because that example, table salt, in water,breaks up right into negatively-charged chloride ions(chlorines v one extra electron), andpositively-charged sodium ion (sodium through onetoo few electrons). Why this happens has to dowith quantum mechanics, i beg your pardon is a college-levelchemistry topic. Also, high-energy light or otherforms of power can piece the electron fromatoms; this is why ultraviolet light causessunburn, because that instance, due to the fact that it strips theelectrons from the atoms in your skin.

Answer 5:

Well, let"s think about what provides up an atom:an atoms is composed of a bunch of negatively-chargedelectrons orbiting approximately a nucleus, i beg your pardon is madeup of neutral neutrons and also positively-chargedprotons. In pretty much all atoms, the number ofelectrons and also protons is the same, therefore the netcharge of the atom in zero.

But what if the atom has an ext or much less electronsthan protons? Well, then the atom becomeselectrically fee - this is dubbed an ion(which are super important, through the way! ion aresuper important to a ton of stuff, includingmaking sure your body functions correctly!). If theatom has much more electrons 보다 protons, the isnegatively charged, if if it has actually fewerelectrons than protons, it i do not care positivelycharged. However, remember the opposite chargesattract and also like fees repel: so, apositively charged atom will tempt electronsuntil it i do not care neutral, whereas a negativelycharged atom will repel few of its electronsuntil it additionally becomes neutral. So only neutralatoms space stable.

See more: What Term Is A Synonym For Iddm, Synonyms For Iddm

Hope these help!Answer 6:

Atoms space neutral if they have the very same numberof fee protons and also electrons, balancingpositive and an unfavorable charges. As lengthy as thenumbers the electron and also protons room the same, thecharges will certainly balance. Sometimes atoms space morestable though once they space not perfectlyelectrically neutral. This charged atom arecalled "ions." If you placed salt in water, itsmolecules in reality break apart into individuallycharged atoms. This is because water chin hasslight charges.

Answer 7:

Atoms room electrically neutral since theyhave same numbers of protons (positively charged)and electrons (negatively charged). If an atomgains or loses one or more electrons, the becomesan ion. If that gains one or more electrons, the nowcarries a net an adverse charge, and is thus"anionic." If, ~ above the other hand, it loses one ormore electrons, it now carries a net positivecharge and also is "cationic."