A cation is a positively charged ion, while an anion is a negatively charged ion. Cations are formed when an atom or molecule loses one or more electrons, and anions are formed when an atom or molecule gains one or more electrons. Both cations and anions are formed by the transfer of electrons from one atom or molecule to another. Cations are attracted to anions, and vice versa. This attraction results in the formation of ionic bonds, which are the bonds that hold atoms and molecules together. Examples of cations include sodium, potassium, and calcium, while examples of anions include chloride, nitrate, and sulfate.
The charge of a cation or an anion depends on the number of electrons it has gained or lost. Cations typically have a charge of 1, 2, or 3, while anions typically have a charge of -1, -2, or -3. The charge of a cation or an anion is also determined by its atomic number. The atomic number is the number of protons in the nucleus of an atom. The higher the atomic number of an atom or molecule, the higher its charge will be.