In chemistry, the term "neutral charge" is used to refer to an atom or collection of atoms that contains neither a positive nor negative charge. To have a neutral charge, the atom must have an equal number of protons and electrons.
Protons give an atom a positive charge, while electrons give it a negative charge. The number of protons in an atom is determined by the atomic number of an element, while the number of electrons is determined by the location of an element on the periodic table. An atom that does not have a neutral charge is referred to as an ion.