Asked by DaisyPhysics ๐Ÿš€

What happens when an atom is ionised?

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Kate McAulay

PhD in Chemistry, fun and friendly!

An atom becomes ionised when it becomes charged. This charge can be positive (+) or negative (-). What generally causes this is the gain or loss of electrons. Electrons are negatively charged. So if an atom GAINS an electron it becomes more negatively charged. Oppositely if an atom LOOSES an electron it looses that negative charge so itself becomes more positive ie more positively charged.

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Ismail Jeilani

BSc Political Economy | Ex-Google | 7 years Teaching Experience

When Alpha or Beta particles pass another atom, they tend to pull electrons off it. This is the process of ionisation.

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