Atoms that aren’t noble gases would like to gain a stable configuration by swapping or sharing electrons. This means for the first 18 elements their outermost valence shell has 8 electrons. Any elements higher than 18 needs 18 electrons to have the valence shell full.

Those with a low number of valence electrons will tend to lose electrons more easily, where as those with more complete valence shells will tned to gain electrons more easily.

Ions with a positive charge are called cations. Ions with negative charge are called anions. Elements that gain an electron or electrons are considered anions. Those that lose electrons, and thus have a positive charge are called cations.

Ions are attracted to those of opposite charge and form salts. Salts exists in form of solids, in crystal lattices or structures that interact with each othe electro statically, with the ions spaced in an even consistent manner. Salts are normally water soluble. This is usually done through dipole bonding.

Salts made up of monoatomic cations and ions are:


Sodium Chloride


lithium flouride


magnesium bromide

The ion takes an the suffix ‘ide’ at the end of it’s name. Flourine takes the name flouride when in the form of lithium flouride. Bromine takes the name bromide when in the form of magnesium bromide. Chlorine takes the name chloride when in the form of sodium chloride. Magnesium bromide is not called magnesium dibromide.

Salts must have a neutral charge.

When ions are referred to as electrolytes in the study of physiology it is because these ions are considered needed for the conduction of nerve impluses, for the conduction of muscles, and the proper balance of h20. It is often sometimes considered helpful in an unhealthy, prolonged state of vomiting or diarrhea. Michael Faraday coined the word “ion”, that is an atom or molecule that has a net charge of zero.