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Q & A: Polyatomic Ions

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Most recent answer: 10/22/2007
Q:
What is a polyatomic-ion?
- Nicole (age 13)
Good Shepherd, Denver,CO. US
A:
Excellent question, Nicole.
First, let's start with a few basics to make sure we're all on the same page. An ion is an atom or molecule that has non zero electric charge. That is, an ion has either more protons (+) than electrons (-) or more electrons than protons.
Ions can be formed from one atom having more or less electrons. Some common examples are H+, Cl-, Ca++.
Sometimes ions can be formed from a molecule (a group of atoms stuck together) having a net electric charge. Some fairly common examples are HO- and NH4+.
So polyatomic ions are pretty much like regular ions except that they are made from groups of atoms instead of just one.
I hope this answers your question.

math dan

(published on 10/22/2007)

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