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The word ion is the Greek , ion, "going", the present participle of , ienai, "to go".

This term
was introduced by English physicist and chemist Michael Faraday in 1834 for the then-unknown
species that goes from one electrode to the other through an aqueous medium.
Faraday did not
know the nature of these species, but he knew that since metals dissolved into and entered a
solution at one electrode, and new metal came forth from a solution at the other electrode, that some
kind of substance moved through the solution in a current, conveying matter from one place to the
Faraday also introduced the words anion for a negatively charged ion, and cation for a positively
charged one. In Faraday's nomenclature, cations were named because they were attracted to
the cathode in a galvanic device and anions were named due to their attraction to the anode.

Several versions of the laws can be found in textbooks and the scientific literature. The most
common statements resemble the following:
Faraday's 1st Law of Electrolysis - The mass of a substance altered at
an electrode during electrolysis is directly proportional to the quantity of electricity transferred at
that electrode. Quantity of electricity refers to the quantity of electrical charge, typically
measured in coulomb.
Faraday's 2nd Law of Electrolysis - For a given quantity of D.C electricity (electric charge), the
mass of an elemental material altered at an electrode is directly proportional to the
element's equivalent weight. The equivalent weight of a substance will be explained in the next
For an element the equivalent weight is the quantity that combines with or replaces 1.00797 grams
(g) of hydrogen or 7.9997 g of oxygen; or, the weight of an element that is liberated in an electrolysis
(chemical reaction caused by an electric current) by the passage of 9.64853399(24) x 10
of electricity. The equivalent weight of an element is its gram atomic weight divided by its valence
(combining power). Some equivalent weights are: silver (Ag), 107.868 g; magnesium (Mg), 24.312/2
g; aluminum (Al), 26.9815/3 g; sulfur (S, in forming a sulfide), 32.064/2 g. For compounds that
function as oxidizing or reducing agents (compounds that act as acceptors or donors of electrons),
the equivalent weight is the gram molecular weight divided by the number of electrons lost or gained
by each molecule; e.g., potassium permanganate (KMnO4) in acid solution, 158.038/5 g; potassium
dichromate (K2Cr2O7), 294.192/6 g; and sodium thiosulfate (Na2S2O35H2O), 248.1828/1 g. For all
oxidizing and reducing agents (elements or compounds) the equivalent weight is the weight of the
substance that is associated with the loss or gain of 6.023 10^23 electrons. The equivalent weight
of an acid or base for neutralization reactions or of any other compound that acts by double
decomposition is the quantity of the compound that will furnish or react with or be equivalent to
1.00797 g of hydrogen ion or 17.0074 g of hydroxide ion; e.g., hydrochloric acid (HCl), 36.461 g;
sulfuric acid (H2SO4), 98.078/2 g; sodium hydroxide (NaOH), 40 g; sodium carbonate (Na2CO3),
105.9892/ 2 g. The equivalent weight of a substance may vary with the type of reaction it undergoes.
Thus, potassium permanganate reacting by double decomposition has an equivalent weight equal to
its gram molecular weight, 158.038/1 g; as an oxidizing agent under different circumstances it may
be reduced to the manganate ion (MnO42-), to manganese dioxide (MnO2), or to the manganous
ion (Mn2+), with the equivalent weights of 158.038/1 g, 158.038/3 g, and 158.038/5 g, respectively.
The number of equivalent weights of any substance dissolved in one litre of solution is called the
normality of that solution.'s_laws_of_electrolysis
Discovery of Ions

The person who gives a theory of ions is Michael Faraday. Its around 1830. He describes the portions of
molecules that move from anode to cathode or vice versa.

He discovered that certain substances when dissolved in water conduct an electric current. He also
noticed that certain compounds decompose into their elements when an electric current is passed
through the compound.

Faraday introduced the term ions (or wanderer in Greek) to describe the chemical species passing
though the solution. He also introduced the terms anion and cation for positive and negative ions and
anode and cathode for positive and negative electrodes.
How, there were no fully explanation until 1884 where the Swedish scientist name Svante August
Arrhenius described it in his doctoral thesis. Arrhenius reasoned that an ion is an atom carrying a positive
or negative charged.

Svante Arrheniuss proposal that molecules of electrolytes break up into charged ions in dilute solution,
whether or not electric current is present.

Michael Faraday did his experimenting with electromagnetism in 1821 by demonstrating the conversion of
electrical energy into motive force. Using his special induction ring He discovered electromagnetic
induction or generation of electricity. This is the first electricity transformer.

Arrhenius theory of ionization consists of the following postulates.
The substance called electrolytes are believed to contain electrically charged particles called
ions. These charges are positive for H
ion or ions derived from metals and negative for
the ions derived from non-metals. Number of electrical charges carried by an ion is equal
to the valency of corresponding atom.
Molecules of electrolytes (acids, bases and salts) dissociate into oppositely charged ions
on dissolution in water, e.g.
NaCl Na


+ OH

The number of positive and negative charges on the ions must be equal so that the solution
as a whole remains neutral.
In solution, the ions are in a state of disorderly or random motion. Upon colliding they may
combine to give unionized molecules. Thus ionization is a reversible process in which the
solution contains ions of electrolyte together with unionized molecules.
(aq) 2H
(aq) + SO

The extent of ionization or the degree of ionization depends upon the nature of
electrolyte.Strong electrolytes such as HCl etc. ionize completely in water. Weak
electrolytes such as acetic acid (CH
COOH) ionize only slightly
Ionization is not affected by electric current.
When electric current is passed through an electrolytic solution, charges move towards
their respective electrodes, i.e. cations towards anode and anions towards cathode.When
these ions reached their respective electrodes, they change into neutral species by the
gain or loss of electron.
The dissociation of electrolyte depend upon
Nature of electrolyte
Degree of dilution
The electrical conductivity depends upon :
The number of ions present in the solution
Speed of ions