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How are ions represented when they have a positive charge?

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marcoawesome99 | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) Honors

Posted February 12, 2013 at 9:15 PM via web

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How are ions represented when they have a positive charge?

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ncchemist | eNotes Employee

Posted February 13, 2013 at 12:29 AM (Answer #1)

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Charged chemical species are called ions.  Positively charged ions are called cations and negatively charged ions are called anions.  Cations are denoted with a positive sign (+) as a superscript at the end of the atom or chemical formula.  Anions are denoted with a negative sign (-) as a superscript at the end of the atom or chemical formula.  As an example, the sodium cation is written as:

`Na^+`

If an ion has a positive charge greater than one, then the cation is written as the number of the charge followed by the + sign.  As an example, the calcium cation is written as:

`Ca^(2+)`

 

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