We have discussed earlier how the position of an element on the periodic table determines how likely it is that the atoms of that element will gain or lose electrons.
The position on the periodic table also influences how many electrons are gained or lost, but with a twist. As it turns out, the elements that are most likely to lose electrons do not lose the most electrons. They lose only one electron. Also, the elements with the strongest tendency to gain electrons do not gain the greatest number of electrons. They gain only one electron.
So let's look at how many electrons will be gained or lost by different kinds of atoms. Quite often this can be determined by looking at the position of the element on the periodic table. We will look first at cations, then anions, and then polyatomic ions which are charged clusters of atoms.
E-mail instructor: Eden Francis
Clackamas Community College