Ions and pH
Atoms. The atom is made up of neutrons which have no charge, protons which have a positive charge, and electrons which have a negative charge. Atoms always have an equal number of electrons and protons, so the charges cancel each other out.


Ions. If an atom picks up an electron (-), it becomes negatively charged; there are now more electrons than protons. If an atom loses an electron (-), it becomes positively charged; there are now more protons than electrons. Atoms with electron imbalances are called ions.


Acids. Acids in water separate into ions, and the positive ion is hydrogen (H+). When hydrochloric acid (HCl) mixes with water, it separates into positive hydrogen (H+) and negative chlorine (Cl-). Hydrogen (H+) combines with water (H2O) to make hydronium (H3O+).


Bases. Bases in water also separate into ions, and the negative ion is hydroxide (OH-). When the base sodium hydroxide (NaOH) mixes with water, it separates into positive sodium (Na+) and negative hydroxide (OH-).



Atomic Gumdrops 


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