Positive Charge

Definition - What does Positive Charge mean?

In an atom, a positive charge occurs when an atom has more protons than electrons. The proton is what determines its positive charge. It is denoted with a plus (+) sign. It attracts negative charges and repels other positive charges. In NaCl, the sodium cations, Na+, are neutralized by chlorine anions, Cl -.

In general, metals lose electrons to form positively charged ions (Fe+2, Au+3, Ag+), and nonmetals gain electrons to form negatively charged ions.

A positive charge is also known as a cation.

Corrosionpedia explains Positive Charge

There are two types of electric charges: positive and negative. Positively charged substances are repelled from other positively charged substances, but attracted to negatively charged substances. The electrostatic attraction between the positives and negatives brings the particles together and creates an ionic compound, like sodium chloride. A metal reacts with a nonmetal to form an ionic bond.

A positive charge occurs when the number of protons exceeds the number of electrons. A positive charge may be created by adding protons to an atom or object with a neutral charge. A positive charge also can be created by removing electrons from a neutrally charged object.

In a battery, the positive end (or cathode) is attractive to electrons, due to its positive charge. Metal loss at anodic sites in an electrochemical cell occurs when the metal atoms give up one or more electrons and move as positively charged ions into the electrolyte.

In a galvanic cell, positively charged ions flow to the cathode, while negative ions flow to the anode. In an electrical circuit, electric current is the movement of electrical charge. An atom's electric charge dictates how molecules react with each other and in nature.

When metal atoms are exposed to an environment containing water molecules, they can give up electrons, becoming positively charged ions, provided an electrical circuit can be completed. This effect can be concentrated locally to form a pit, or crack. It also can extend across a wide area to produce general wastage.

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