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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Ionize'

Ionize Meaning and Definition from WordNet (r) 2.0
    ionize v
  1. become converted into ions [syn: ionise]
  2. convert into ions [syn: ionise]
Ionize Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    Ionize \I"on*ize\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Ionized; p. pr. & vb. n. Ionizing.] (Elec. Chem.) To separate (a compound) into ions, esp. by dissolving in water. -- I`on*i*za"tion, n.
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Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Ionize'

Ionization is the physical process of converting an atom or molecule into an ion by adding or removing charged particles such as electrons or other ions. This is often confused with dissociation (chemistry).

The process works slightly differently depending on whether an ion with a positive or a negative electric charge is being produced. A positively-charged ion is produced when an electron bonded to an atom (or molecule) absorbs enough energy to escape from the electric potential barrier that originally confined it, thus breaking the bond and freeing it to move. The amount of energy required is called the ionization potential. A negatively-charged ion is produced when a free electron collides with an atom and is subsequently caught inside the electric potential barrier, releasing any excess energy.

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