Difference Between Atom and Ion

Atom Vs Ion:

One of the major difference between Atom and ion is all atoms are ions but not all ions are atoms. Atom and ion is quite different from each other because of their net electrical charge. Ion is basically a particle or group of particles which contains an electrical charge. The charge may be positive or negative. Whereas an atom contains same number of electrons and protons and is in a neutral form. An Atom does not contains any charge.

Difference Between Atom and Ion



All the matter of the world is made up of tiny particles called Atoms. Atom has the properties of a chemical element. The size of an Atom is 100 picometers. Atom contains Electrons, protons and neutrons. Electrons revolve around the nucleus and contains negative charge while protons have positive charge and neutrons are normally neutral.


An Ion is basically a small particle or an atom or molecule which has a non zero net electrical charge. In an Atom the number of electron and proton are the same and have opposite charge to each other whereas in Ion the electron and proton numbers are different from each other. Cation contains a positive charge because of little electrons than protons whereas anion has a negative charge because of more electrons than protons.

Main Differences between Atom and Ion:

The following are some of the major differences between Atom and ion.

  • All matters are made up of Atoms whereas an ion is an atom or molecule which contains a net electrical charge.
  • Atom is neutrally charged whereas on the other hand an ion may be positively or either negatively charged.
  • An Atom is generally not attracted to an electrical field whereas on the other hand an ion is usually attracted to electrical fields based on their electrical charge.

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