Chemistry --- chemistry ---

what is the difference between an atom and an ion ???

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  1. In an atom, the number of electrons is equal to the number of protons. In an ion, the number of electrons is not equal to the number of neutrons. A positive ion has more protons than electrons whilst a negative ion has more electrons than protons.

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  2. Another way of looking at it--an ion is an atom (sometimes more than one atom) with a + or - charge on it.
    example of one atom--Na atom; Na^+ ion
    examle of more than one atom--SO4^2-

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