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What do you call an atom that has gained an electron?

A:

Quick Answer

An atom that has gained one or more electrons is called an anion. It is also known as a negative ion. A positive ion, or a cation is one that has lost one or more electrons.

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Full Answer

Elements normally have the same number of protons as electrons. Ions tend to be unstable and reactive because the number of electrons and protons is no longer balanced. A negative ion has too many electrons, so it tends to shed the excess. A positive ion has too few, so it tends to attract more electrons to make up the deficit, usually from a nearby negative ion. Most chemical reactions include the temporary ionization of one or more elements and the recombination of ions to form stable products.

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