Talk:Ion

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Application for Semi-protected Status[edit]

Resolved

I'd like to see what others would think of applying for this page to be semi-protected. By my count, 14 of the past 50 edits over the last two months have been vandalism. From the wikipedia rough guide to semi-protection:

All or almost all of the vandalism is coming from unregistered users. This is true.
Unregistered editors should be making very few contributions to the article compared to the amount of vandalism coming from unregistered editors. From what i've read this is also true.
There are regularly many new vandals, therefore it would be a huge unending task to notify and warn all the vandals individually. I'm not sure about this one. Notifying 16 vandals isn't terribly difficult, but the problem is ongoing.
According to Wikipedia:WikiProject Vandalism studies#Conclusions from study 1, on average 5% of edits to a page are vandalism. So, 5% is the level of vandalism to be expected, and semi-protection should not be applied in this case. More than usual levels of vandalism occur when anything over 5% of edits constitute vandalism. As i said 14 of the last 50 edits have been vandalism, which is a lot more than 5%.

So if you could let me know what you think before i do anything, i'd appreciate it.Larryisgood (talk) 11:11, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

I agree with this. I've been fighting vandalism on this page for a long time now, and it's always coming from IP editors. It seems particularly susceptible to school IPs; most of the vandalism appears to be coming from school kids who are presumably directed to this page by science classes, and who are obviously either bored or hate their subject of study, and so vent it on Wikipedia.—Tetracube (talk) 19:07, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

I made the application, but if the edit history of the article is checked now, it'll list most of the edits as legitimate probably because school's out for summer. Might have to reapply in autumn. If anyone can vouch for me, i'd appreciate it. Larryisgood (talk) 23:49, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

Ok so it's been semi-protected. Ride the good feeling!Larryisgood (talk) 12:41, 19 October 2010 (UTC)

Pronunciation[edit]

Resolved

What's the pronunciation of cation? Is it Kation or Cation like Nation? Cat (as in the animal) ion. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 80.3.171.199 (talk) 19:25, 21 March 2009 (UTC)

Like cat the animal.
Ben (talk) 20:42, 21 March 2009 (UTC)

Funny Stuff[edit]

Resolved

The article on ions isn't "neutral". That is the best piece of geek humor I've seen in a long time. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 75.157.181.10 (talk) 16:31, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

How so? I do not see any pro Greek bias. Paskari (talk) 11:13, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
Geek not Greek. JIMp talk·cont 08:42, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
The geek humor requires a specific audience to appreciate :) Jon C (talk) 21:31, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

Notation[edit]

Resolved

It might be nice to have a short sentence on the notation used to indicate the charge of an ion. There is a convention and it should probably be followed.

Ions: Number then sign, e.g. 3+, 2-, 2+, &c. Formal Charge: Sign then number, e.g. +3, -2, +2, &c.

As usual one writes just - for 1- or + for 1+. Thoughts?

This has been included in the intro. However, it is misleading for example, it reads the sodium cation is written as Na+, the '+' indicating that it has one less electron than it has protons. but wouldn't it be more clear if it said the '+' indicating that it has one more proton than it has electrons. Paskari (talk) 11:15, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
Might it not be better to say that it indicates the overall charge. JIMp talk·cont 08:44, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

Questionable graphic[edit]

Resolved

Surely the graphic is misleading, showing the potential as a well-defined shelly solid, complete with reflective highlights? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 72.173.17.89 (talk) 18:08, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

Yes I agree, the graphic is a little vague. Paskari (talk) 11:16, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
What's more important is that i'm not sure it makes sense. Sure, the electrostatic potential would have shells of points of equal potential. That's all the shell is there to represent, points of equal potential energy, it makes no sense to colour a shell like this with areas of "higher potential" as the whole point of the shell is that it is of equal potential across it's surface. Please correct me if i'm wrong in this. If it were just a spherical "slice" through the potential gradient field then you'd need to colour code it to show isopotentials which would vary over our arbitrary choice of shape and position of slice.Larryisgood (talk) 12:49, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
The reflective highlights are just there so that the 3D shape of the surface is clearer. As to it being a well-defined boundary, it's just the boundary of an arbitrarily-selected electrostatic potential value. It would be too difficult to represent the entire electrostatic field directly. Of course, having said that, there's always room for improvement. Suggestions are welcome. :-)—Tetracube (talk) 17:52, 26 April 2010 (UTC)
For the front piece, I've replaced the specific example of a polyatomic ion with a general illustration for the concept of cations/anions, using the simplest example we could have. The polyatomic ion diagram is relocated to its category under Chemistry. Jon C (talk) 21:29, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

Detached information[edit]

The following has been removed from the article. It is not very clear, so at the very least it doesn't belong in the intro and I don't know where to put it, and it likely ought to be rewritten.

The formation of free negatively charged atomic ions is non-trivial because an additional electron doesn't experience a Coulomb attraction towards the neutral atom. It is nevertheless possible in many cases, see negative atomic ion.
In larger systems ions are often formed by the combination of elemental ions such as H+ with neutral molecules or by the loss of such elemental ions. The distinction between this and the removal of an electron from the whole molecule is important in large systems because it usually results in much more stable ions with complete electron shells. A good simple example of this is the ammonium ion NH4+ which has the same number of electrons as NH3 in essentially the same configuration. The charge has been added by the addition of a proton (H+) not the addition or removal of electrons.

- Centrx 21:36, 9 August 2005 (UTC)

Reworked the second paragraph here and made it into a new section on formation of polyatomic and molecular ions. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 134.9.228.11 (talkcontribs) 21:29, 1 March 2006.

The introduction said that anions are so named because they are "attracted to anodes" and cations are "attracted to cathodes." But if you look at the anode and cathode pages, you'll see that anode means "where current goes in" and cathode "where current goes out." They do not have anything to do with positive or negative charge. In fact, in a battery which is providing power, current flows out of the positive terminal (making it the cathode) which means that anions would be attracted to the cathode in that case. The signs are reversed in a device that is receiving power (like a battery being charged or an LED). Thus, you can't make a blanket statement about the charge of a cathode or anode. Dreadengineer (talk) 07:45, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

Current flows from + to - in an electric circuit (convention), but electrons flow from - to + (negative charge attracted to the positive side). I think this is where the anode/cathode pages go wrong in their used words. 2001:610:1908:C000:C876:5A6F:F623:70AD (talk) 13:55, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

Negative ions / health benefits?[edit]

Another kind of ion that benefits one's health is called a "capion". This ion was discovered by Alex Thornton. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 75.216.126.11 (talk) 00:38, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

A lot of "ionizers" claim to produce negative ions, which can make you happier and wealthier. What's the scientific basis for this (if any)? ---Ransom

Ransom I believe that the "negatively charged ions" referred to here are a small number of charged air molecules (or more likely dust particles) generated by passing the air flow over a discharge point within the "ioniser". The number produced are quite small, the analogy is the charge you can get on a plastic object rubbed on silk or rayon. Not really anything to do with ions in the chemical sense. JohnT 13:12, 28 December 2005 (UTC)


Beware the "Healthful Negative ions" pseudo-science scams: the folks who sell them don't even know what ions are.[edit]

Ransom, there is no scientific basis for any of that. That kind of marketing is pseudoscience that attempts to market to people who don't know any better but to "trust the scientists" (or rather, the person blabing on with scientific sounding terms).

If you ionize the air, the only thing that happens is that the ionized molecules and particles that have picked up a charge seek to neutralize themselves by sticking to things of the opposite charge, wherever they may be. For example, dust particles that usually have a positive charge (the reason for they tend to be positive has to do with the way common dust particles pick up static charges--it's beyond the scope of my explanation) end up sticking to TV screens, since old cathod ray tube TV screens pick up a negative charge from all the electrons that bombard it to produce the image on the surface. Charged things tend to try to seek out opposite charges to become neutral.

What's worse is that running air through something that ionizes it may actually make any present toxic chemicals more dangerous to you. There used to be a major scare that high voltage power transmission lines caused cancer because of the strong electric field around them, or their low frequency electromagnetic radiation. Then, someone took a closer look at the geographic distribution of the cancers, and found that they were concentrated down wind of the polution and the high voltage lines. If I remember correctly, what they think was going on was that the polutants were being charged by being blown through high voltage wires, and once charged, were "sticky", and stuck to anything they could that would help neutralize their charge--including human lungs. Ionizing the air made the present polutants *more* deadly, not less.

The only ionizing product that does the air any good is an ionizing air filter. (Most famously, the heavily advertised "ionic breeze" device by Sharper Image) Filters of that sort don't just ionize the air: they ionize the air with one charge, then run the air past plates of the oposite charge, so the charged dust and contaminants get pulled out of the air by their attraction to the oppositly charged collection plates. Unlike the open air high voltage wires, these didn't just leave the polutants "sticky" with charge, they also provide oppositely charged plates for the sticky polutants to collect on, thereby filtering the air.

The worst offender by means of "healthful negative ion" pseudoscience scams are those "himalayan salt crystal lamps" that allegedly fill the air with negative ions. They do no such thing. The people who market those things just prove that they didn't learn a thing in High school science classes (or if they did, they learned that you can market things to the new-age "holistic health" crowd using scientific terms, and fool most people into buying anything). Indeed, they can't even tell you what ions the things are supposedly releasing into the air, much less what an ion is or what ionization means.) Nothing but radioactive material undergoing alpha decay continuously releases ions into the air. No salt crystal can release negative ions into the air without becoming extremely positively charged, and nothing naturally and continuously leaves electrical equilibrium (charge neutrality) on its own. The salt crystal lamps certainly don't. All you get with one of those lamps is a block of dimly lit expensive salt.

Mined rock salt crystals are by far dominanty sodium choride (as in 98% or more), with trace amounts of other positive and negative ion combinations (potassium/calcum/magnesium etc. chloride/flouride/bromide/iodide etc. see the halides wikipedia entry). If a salt crystal were to give off negative ions, you'd have the air filled with ionized halogens. That would be extremely bad for your health if that were so! Imagine the air filled with chorine ions (the domiant negative ion in crystal salt). That would kill you or make you ill if it actually did such a thing; chlorine gas is toxic as is and was used as a chemical weapon in WWI, forget about even ionized chorine!

Berkana 10:05, 24 February 2006 (UTC)

There seem to be different types of air ionizers and different theories of how they work. Someone who knows should really update the article. The only undisputed facts I can gather are:
  • The devices involve high voltages
  • They create ozone and nitrogen oxides, which kill bacteria, but are also toxic to people. Whether this is a side effect or the intended effect is disputed.
Unanswered questions:
  • Does the device "purify" the air in other ways, like removing dust and bacteria from it?
  • Does the device involve two oppositely-charged electrodes or only one electrode that is at a high voltage relative to the Earth?
  • Are the dust particles attracted to the other electrode (how does it stay clean?) or are they charged and then attracted to other neutral objects in the room? (I've heard rumors of stains on the walls near these machines.)
  • If the device is emitting ions into the room, which are then attracted to the Earth (or other objects in the room), are they positive or negative ions? Can it emit both at the same time? (Do ions in a neutral fluid rapidly move towards oppositely charged objects and neutralize, or are they slowed down by the collisions with neutral particles and only slowly drift towards other objects? Would a positive and negative ion neutralize on contact, or does it depend on other factors?)
It's actually more complex than it seems, and only physicists or chemists who really understand ionization and electrohydrodynamics really know what's going on. (And I am not one of them, obviously.) — Omegatron 17:13, 24 February 2006 (UTC)

No salt crystal can release negative ions into the air without becoming extremely positively charged

If you put it in water, it will constantly emit both positive and negative ions, no?
If you put it in air instead, won't part of it evaporate? What form are the evaporated atoms/molecules? — Omegatron 17:29, 24 February 2006 (UTC)

The only ionizing product that does the air any good is an ionizing air filter. (Most famously, the heavily advertised "ionic breeze" device by Sharper Image)

You mean an electrostatic precipitator, I believe. And I don't think the Ionic Breeze works as one. I could be wrong. — Omegatron 16:58, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

Can someone please tell me what the heck "gay" means in relation to ions???

I have added a short section on this - it is psuedoscience, however deserves a (reasoned, verifiable) mention as the claims are very widespread. I've used an existing citation from some mag i'd never heard of as the basis - if anyone feels like digging up some proper research on the matter that'd be great, though I think that the article cited is a good source.Hopsyturvy (talk) 15:52, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

ionzation energy and its effect on chemical reactions[edit]

ionization energy is the energy needed to essentially remove an electron, i was curious to know what would happen if an element was stripped of its electrons, so as to resemble the valance electron configuration of another elemnt. would it have the same chemical properties as the new valance configuration? --Shinjiro 01:53, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

Well, if chemical properties would change (which I doubt) it wouldn't last long since it would get its electrons back really fast. Some chemical reactions actually happen because of ions. See Ionic Bond. Slartibartfast1992 21:00, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

The capion has so much energy that only a few people in the whole world possess it in their bodies naturally. These people include Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jackson, Michael Phelps, and Alexandra Thornton. It is the reason that they have the energy to do what they do everyday. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 75.216.126.11 (talk) 00:42, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

Ion tables[edit]

I converted the lists of ions into tables (full description in edit history) but it's 3:45 in the morning where I am, so I need someone to make sure all the charges/subscripts are correct. Thanks.—Kbolino 08:48, 24 March 2006 (UTC). .

I actually came to this page looking for a table showing the valence of common ions, and although I found a nice looking table which lists the ions, no valence numbers were given. If neccesary, I would be willing to find and add the numbers. Does anyone else think that would be a useful idea? —CJAQ —Preceding unsigned comment added by 118.93.187.207 (talk) 18:07, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

++++++++++++++++++

I think severall ions have more then one value like Fe 2+ and Fe 3+, but a proper chemist has to fill this gab... A lot have the same but not all metals. The ion-periodic table givven as reference give the Fe in mentioned CB —Preceding unsigned comment added by 93.125.179.9 (talk) 00:50, 21 January 2009 (UTC) I noticed the Fe part is there BUT the gab is from different value, the 'COMMON' name is Only Common in England and America, but in Europa, like NL and DE he names are Commonly different. The list should include the europe name as reference to be usefull and give clearence for any user. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 93.125.179.9 (talk) 01:34, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

I found the section "Common Ions" in this article confusing, having come to look for precisely examples of these. Aluminium for instance is not an ion, though if I understand right it is an element that can/does/? have an ionic form. I think the tables given need clarification at least by way of an introductory paragraph. My particular interest is in clearing up a confusion regarding a commonly used ion: Vitamin C (L-ascorbate). My understanding is that its "base" form is asorbic acid but Vit C <> ascorbic acid. I was looking for other examples to help understand and communicate the difference between the two. Help welcome btw! LookingGlass (talk) 08:45, 17 July 2012 (UTC)

Background knowledge[edit]

This article seems to assume a reasonable level of background knowledge of checmistry, is it possible to incorporate at the start a recommendation of prerequisite reading? ClaudeVanMouse 15:06 22 June 2008 (EST) +++++++++++++++++++++++++

refer to the build off an atom at first to visualise the gab in the electon count. best model of Bohr http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bohr_Model CB —Preceding unsigned comment added by 93.125.179.9 (talk) 00:52, 21 January 2009 (UTC) You should realy mention who discovered ions. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 74.87.110.18 (talk) 16:14, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

Section "Ions"[edit]

Resolved

Is it really necessary to include "dianion" after "anion" and "cation"? I have doubt because I do not see "dication", "trication" and "tetracation" etc. after that. --Quest for Truth (talk) 15:57, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

This is currently removed. Jon C (talk) 21:11, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

Etymology[edit]

Resolved

I would like to add a section on the origin of the word 'ion'. Michael Faraday "was partly responsible for coining many familiar words including 'electrode', 'cathode' and 'ion'" (source BBC Michael Faraday).Dkleeman (talk) 20:59, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

Added this in the History section. Jon C (talk) 21:13, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

Why is this article locked?[edit]

This is my first time going through this article and I can tell already how horribly biased it is. Many of us know that ions have great health benefits especially natural phenomena like thunder, but this page is so biased as to not even mention it such as thunder and various methods of cleaning ionization such as corona discharge that is in thunder. Yes.. Everyone knows about the internet "charlatons" that sell bad products and make the whole business look bad. The truth is lightning if of direct Current and, with a large exception, use artifical current which isnt good for the human body especially as commons as it is. E.G. EMF. The Above post has many important references to Positive effects of "the right use of ions" and should be taken into greater consideration and have its own section in this article but it doesn't. The critics against health benefits of ions will always look for all evidences bad associated that are usually made by biased research and Cheap companies giving it a bad name. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 75.70.186.132 (talk) 00:53, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

I agree that the previous scope of the article was very limited, useful (and accessible) only to chemists (and their students :) ) I've added in sections that will be useful for the general public, including ions in natural phenomena, and invite you to (be bold) and make contributions to the article. Jon C (talk) 21:10, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

Common ions section[edit]

Ugh. Not another section purporting to list all possible ions... I'm going to pare this down to just the most representative ions, since there are so many ions it's impossible to even come close to listing them all (and such a list would be so long as to be completely useless).—Tetracube (talk) 21:40, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

The following was contributed by User:Blackknight12. I'm deleting it from the article because (1) it seems to completely disregard the existing table that lists representative ions, (2) it adds a very long list of ions which is of questionable usefulness (there are categories for ions, after all), and (3) User:Blackknight12 has not responded to my attempts to start discussion on this issue.—Tetracube (talk) 23:48, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
Positive Ions (cations)
+1 +2 +3
Hydrogen H+ Magnesium Mg2+ Aluminium Al3+
Lithium Li+ Calcium Ca2+ Chromium(III) Cr3+
Sodium Na+ Barium Ba2+ Iron(III) Fe3+
Pottasium K+ Zinc Zn2+
Silver Ag+ Copper(II) Cu2+
Copper(I) Cu+ Mercury(II) Hg2+
Ammonium NH4+ Iron(II) Fe2+
Nickel(II) Ni2+
Tin(II) Sn2+
Lead(II) Pb2+
Negative Ions (anions)
-1 -2 -3
Hydroxide OH- Oxide O2- Nitride N3-
Hydrogen Sulfide HS- Sulfide S2- Phosphate PO43-
Hydrogen Sulfite HSO3- Sulfite SO32-
Hydrogen Sulfate HSO4- Sulfate SO42-
Hydrogen Carbonate HCO3- Carbonate CO32-
Dihydrogen Phosphate H2PO4- Hydrogen Phosphate HPO42-
Nitrite NO2- Dichromate Cr2O72-
Nitrate NO3- Chromate CrO42-
Acetate (Ethanoate)
C2H3O2- (CH3COO-)
Fluoride F-
Chloride Cl-
Bromide Br-
Iodide I-
Permanganate MnO4-
Agreed to the relatively little value a comprehensive table adds to the article. Jon C (talk) 21:25, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

Roman numeral notation[edit]

In astronomy (more exactly astrophysical spectroscopy) a Roman numeral notation is used to refer to the spectra from monatomic ions. E.g., the spectrum of Fe7+ is denoted by Fe VIII. More generally, Roman numeral I refers to the spectrum from the neutral element, Roman numeral II to the spectrum from the singly-ionized atom, etc.

You often see astronomers confuse this notation with the superscript one leading to phrases such as "The ion O III gives rise to three strong emission lines in the spectrum of X.", which should be written as "The O2+ ion gives rise to three strong emission lines in the spectrum of X." or "The object X shows three strong lines from the O III spectrum." so you may want to mention this in a discussion of ion notation. This misuse of the notation is so prevalent in astronomy that you could go as far as to say that O III (for example) refers to both the ion and the spectrum in astronomy, but I don't have a reference for this.

I think the Roman numeral notation goes way back to the 1800s, and you'll find references in many standard texts in astronomy or spectroscopy. Picking out one book from my library: Cowan, R. D., 1981, 'The Theory of Atomic Structure and Spectra', University of California Press (Sect. 1.2).

Agdraconis (talk) 01:33, 17 November 2009 (UTC)

—Preceding unsigned comment added by Agdraconis (talkcontribs) 19:13, 16 November 2009 (UTC) 
Thanks for the feedback, I'll add a note to the notation. The Roman numeral designates the formal oxidation state (of an atom), whereas the superscripted numerals shows the net charge. They mean the same thing for monatomic ions, but the Roman numerals cannot be applied to polyatomic ions. Jon C (talk) 18:24, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Agdraconis above. Problem is, as far as I can see the Roman numeral notation used in astronomy has nothing to do with the oxidation state of an atom, but is just an astronomical notation quirk. The current version of the paragraph does not accommodate the astronomical usage, where neutral Hydrogen (H0) is often denoted as H I, once ionized hydrogen (H+) as H II and so forth... See for example the articles on H II region or O III. I'll try and add some lines on astronomical notation. I have removed the "resolved"-sticker for the time being. Macumba (talk) 13:46, 28 November 2011 (UTC)

Clarification of article definition[edit]

According to IUPAC, a molecule is defined as "an electrically neutral entity consisting of more than one atom." If this definition is correct, then an ion cannot be a molecule as the current Wikipedia article suggests. Any thoughts? mezzaninelounge (talk) 21:10, 1 May 2010 (UTC)

You could get round this by changing the text to "An ion is an atomic or molecular entity containing a different number of electrons to protons", mirroring IUPAC's definition of a cation, but this is horribly clumsy. IUPAC may be a fine bunch of people, but few scientists manage to live their lives without deviating from IUPAC's strictest limits. Mass spectroscopists regularly talk of molecular ions or pseudomolecular ions. Perhaps Wikipedia should be a descriptive encyclopedia rather than a prescriptive dictionary, which is the role of IUPAC. 149.155.96.6 (talk) 17:12, 3 August 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for your thoughts. Yes, you're right, IUPAC can be a little pedantic. My concern is that there are people who use Wikipedia as an educational tool and sometimes as a reference source. If that is the case, then there might be a conflict in understanding between the chemist and non-chemist usage of the word "molecule"? If I remembered correctly and I may be wrong, but functional groups for example are not considered molecules for somewhat similar reason. Incidentally, I was thinking that the term "molecule" in the article's definition be replaced with "group of atoms." What do you think? mezzaninelounge (talk) 19:01, 3 August 2010 (UTC)

I came to this article from the article on Michael Faraday, which credited him as coining - or at least popularising the term. I was then surprised to see the definition given in terms of subatomic structure of which, clearly, Faraday cannot have known anything. Does the main article not need a section explaining the perception of what an ION was at the time the term first became known? Clearly it must have referred to a concept relating to relative electrical charge. The article can then go on to explain that the modern understanding explains this in terms of its subatomic structure. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.179.95.171 (talk) 11:19, 8 June 2010 (UTC)

This is a concern. There should be a section on the history and discovery of ions, and I've added that as a stub section requiring expansion. Jon C (talk) 21:05, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

Strange sentence[edit]

What is the meaning of the statement "Keep in mind that it takes an atom just as much energy to gain an electron as it takes to lose one."? I can't make any sense out of it. --72.224.136.152 (talk) 22:04, 10 July 2010 (UTC)

I agree that it too vague to convey any information, so I have removed it. -- Ed (Edgar181) 00:07, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

Right in the paragraph Formation of monatomic ions: "where the "extra" electron is transferred from sodium to chlorine"

Shouldn't this be exactly the other way around? Chlorine gained the electron in the first place. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 77.61.241.211 (talk) 08:02, 28 July 2010 (UTC)

Image caption[edit]

Forgive me, I don't know how to start a separate talk topic. The legend of the figure upper right finishes with "...Anions, with its loosely held electron cloud, has larger radii than the neutral atom/molecule, which in turn is larger than the cation.". This has grammatical errors but also is substantively inaccurate. Try this: "The hydrogen anion, with its loosely held two-electron cloud, has a larger radius than the neutral atom, which in turn is much larger than the bare proton of the cation". Or, if the intention here is to make a more general statement of size of neutrals, cations and anions, then I recommend using a different atom than hydrogen so both the cation and anion retain electrons. 69.153.226.197 (talk) 17:35, 30 January 2011 (UTC)jt

I like your wording better, and have introduced it into the image caption. Thanks for the suggestion. -- Ed (Edgar181) 21:27, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

Re-writing for a general audience[edit]

Hello all. The article on ions is a broad topic, of interest to the general public (as can be seen from its top-ranked importance) and other specialists, but is currently written in a chemist-centric style. In the upcoming weeks I'll try to add information and reorganize the content such that it is more accessible to a lay-person trying to find out what 'ions' are. Please add to the stubs and collaboratively wikify. Jon C (talk) 19:47, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

I second this. Please see my comment above. LookingGlass (talk) 08:39, 17 July 2012 (UTC)

Edit request from 70.26.40.120, 2 February 2011[edit]

My apologies if this is not the place to put this but...

"Faraday also introduced the words anion and cation. In Faraday's nomenclature, cations were named because they were attracted to the cathode in a galvanic device and anions were named due to their attraction to the cathode. (For the origin of these names in turn, see the accompanying linked articles)."

This should be fixed. Somebody messed up the 'anode' part. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 70.26.40.120 (talk) 22:25, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

Edit request from Xyzdebris, 5 February 2011[edit]

{edit semi-protected}

The 1st sentence of the 3rd paragraph in the "Characteristics" section has a parenthesis that is not terminated.

Xyzdebris (talk) 00:43, 5 February 2011 (UTC)

Fixed. Vsmith (talk) 00:51, 5 February 2011 (UTC)

Edit request from 89.243.154.72, 16 February 2011[edit]

History and Discovery[edit]

Etymologically the word ion is the Greek ιον (going), the present participle of ιεναι, ienai, "to go." This term was introduced by English physicist and chemist Michael Faraday in 1834 for the (then unknown) species that goes from one electrode to the other through an aqueous medium.[1][2] Faraday did not know the nature of these species, but he knew that since metals dissolved into and entered solution at one electrode, and new metal came forth from solution at the other electrode, that some kind of substance moved through the solution in a current, conveying matter from one place to the other.

Faraday also introduced the words anion and cation. In Faraday's nomenclature, cations were named because they were attracted to the cathode in a galvanic device and anions were named due to their attraction to the cathode. (For the origin of these names in turn, see the accompanying linked articles).


"please change in the last above paragraph; the last cathode to anode because it is obviously an error in that anions are attracted to the anode and cations are attracted to the cathode!". John Halsey BSC Open----

89.243.154.72 (talk) 09:44, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

done. Vsmith (talk) 12:16, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

Mutual ion repulsion[edit]

Problem sentence: "Since ions of like charge repel each other, they do not usually exist on their own. Instead, many of them may form a crystal lattice, in which ions of opposite charge are bound to each other."

This doesn't make sense to me. If ions of like charge repel each other, mutual repulsion should lead to a state of isolation. In other words, "Since ions of like charge repel each other, they usually exist on their own" - no? The second sentence seems to reinforce my interpretation by describing how how these isolated ions seek company with ions of opposite charge.

Proposed rewrite: "Ions of like charge repel each other, and ions of opposite charge attract each other. Therefore ions do not usually exist on their own, but will bind with ions of opposite charge to form a crystal lattice."

Tripbeetle (talk) 04:11, 8 June 2012 (UTC)

Making the article more comprehensive[edit]

In order to help with this, could we be clear about what the article is dealing with. It appears to have been focused on chemical processes and nomenclature, and little reference to physical creation of ions.

Could I suggest it covers both (I have already started with the ionisation of gases and I think this will bear extension to mention massive creation of ions in gases) and that the end of the lead section is re-written to say:

"Ions can be created by both chemical and physical means.

In chemical terms, if a neutral atom loses one or more electrons, it has a net positive charge and is known as an cation. If an atom gains electrons, it has a net negative charge and is known as an anion. An ion consisting of a single atom is an atomic or monatomic ion; if it consists of two or more atoms, it is a molecular or polyatomic ion.

In the case of physical ionization of a medium, such as a gas, what are known as "ion pairs" are created by ion impact, and each pair consists of a free electron and a positive ion."

If the article is a chemical one only, then this should be stated explicitly. I have been re-writing and cleaning up a number of radiation detector and associated gas ionisation articles, but I find some links come to the "ion" article, which for gas ions has been a dead end.

Dougsim (talk) 08:21, 16 November 2012 (UTC)

Repetition of content[edit]

I just noticed that this section (Chemical applications) repeats material found in the preceding 'Ionization potential' section:

"Chemical applications Each successive ionization energy is markedly greater than the last. Particularly great increases occur after any given block of atomic orbitals is exhausted of electrons. For this reason, ions tend to form in ways that leave them with full orbital blocks. For example, sodium has one valence electron in its outermost shell, so in ionized form it is commonly found with one lost electron, as Na+. On the other side of the periodic table, chlorine has seven valence electrons, so in ionized form it is commonly found with one gained electron, as Cl−. Caesium has the lowest measured ionization energy of all the elements and helium has the greatest.[5] In general, the ionization energy of metals is much lower than the ionization energy of nonmetals, which is why, in general, metals will lose electrons to form positively charged ions and nonmetals will gain electrons to form negatively charged ions."

Deardavid7 (talk) 04:14, 5 January 2013 (UTC)

Edit request on 17 March 2013[edit]

Change "an cation" to "a cation" on second line end of sentence. Entymology (talk) 10:58, 17 March 2013 (UTC)

Fixed, thanks. Materialscientist (talk) 11:14, 17 March 2013 (UTC)

the Bores model[edit]

Has anybody thought to consider that perhaps the rigors of the Bores model is counter-productive to the serious study of chemistry? -- jimp. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.51.85.203 (talk) 11:43, 27 June 2013 (UTC)

I mean its hard to try to talk seriously about science and not feel like a douchebag when you ignore all the theoretical underpinnings (the 'science') and set to the task of 'counting electrons'. It kind of seems like -- hmm, that there is an issue with terminology, that it is designed specifically to discourage young students from pursuit of this subject (and it is also, effectively designed to this purpose). -jimp. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.51.85.203 (talk) 11:46, 27 June 2013 (UTC)

This is not a forum for general discussion of the article's subject. Plasmic Physics (talk) 13:33, 27 June 2013 (UTC)

discoloured water[edit]

I have a bore hole down to about 40 mtr, the water from the bore hole pumps into a settling tank then through some sand filters to the house, when I moved here the water in the tank was very cloudy red/brown rust colour--I thought it was just from the steel tank but everything now has been replaced with plastic---bore hole pumped turned on, all filled up with crystal clear water and all was fine, 24 hours later the water is thick red/brown colour again almost like the water in the well has iron dissolved in it and when it comes into my tank the iron turns into rust how can I stop this happening? ---, somebody suggested I add soda ash which I tried but the water went immediately dark green-- Frankgalagher (talk) 13:21, 11 January 2014 (UTC)

This is not a forum for general discussion of the article's subject. 2001:610:1908:C000:C876:5A6F:F623:70AD (talk) 14:28, 23 January 2014 (UTC)