What is Cation in College Chemistry?

Learn Cation definition in college chemistry with explanation to study “What is Cation”. Study cation explanation with college chemistry terms to review chemistry course for online degree programs.

Cation Definition

Cation Explanation

The word "cation" comes from the Greek word "kato," which means "down." This name was given to it because it moves downwards during electrolysis. A cation is an ionic specie that possesses a positive charge and it has more protons than electrons. The symbol for a cation is the element symbol or molecular formula, followed by a superscript of the charge. We use a positive sign to denote a cation. Common examples of cations are Na+, Mg2+, Al3+, NH4+ etc. These are formed when a metal loses an electron and a non metal gains that electron. Cations and anions attract each other and form ionic compounds.

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