Here's a closer look at that lithium atom. Let's see it had three protons and four neutrons, and it had three electrons flying around. If we're going to talk about charge, we need to figure out what is the total charge? Well, it obeys superposition, which is just a fancy physics way of saying add it all together. The total charge really is just the sum of all positive and negative charge. So if I wanted to know the total charge on this atom, I would just say, well, it's three protons. So 3 times plus 1e plus 4 neutrons times over 0e, plus 3 electrons, 3 times minus 1e. Now it added up together. That's 3 plus zero minus 3 equals 0. Sure enough, the charge on an atom in its natural neutral state is zero. It's neutral just like it should be. Just by adding up the charge, the math will get harder, I promise. Now, we want to think about something that's not neutral, it has a charge. Something bad has to happen to this lithium atom. Something horrible. Let's say it is to lose an electron. I don't know how, I don't want to ask. Who knows? Let's just say it loses an electron, P, P, P, N, N, N, N, e, e, and that's all. It looks horrible. Well, let's add it up real quick, 3 times plus 1e plus 4, still times 0e plus only 2 times minus 1e. Now, of course, we don't have enough negative charge to balance the positive charge, so we end up with something that is charged plus plus 1. So it's a lithium ion. It's charges plus 1e because it's missing one of its electrons. You can have a lot of different kinds of ions. You don't just have to lose an electron, maybe something really weird could happen, you could gain two electrons say. Oh, my goodness. P, P, P, N, N, N, e, e, e, e, e. Now it's a mess of electrons, and we could add it up, 3 times plus 1e plus 4 times 0e plus. Now we gain two electrons that took us up to 5, plus 5 times minus 2e. I'm sorry, 5 times minus 1e, and we'll get a charge that's negative. We'll get minus 2e for the total charge. So you can see this is really just trivial addition. This would be a lithium ion, and usually it'd be written like this, lithium chemical symbol for lithium 2 minus, because its charge is minus 2. Atoms can become charged at the microscopic scale, they do so by becoming ions. Molecules can also become charged. I could draw any molecule you want here, and it's certainly possible, and it certainly happens for that molecule to become charged. Sometimes it's natural state, just when it's hydrated in water is that it becomes charged, things fall off of it in water. They would rather be in the water then stuck to the molecule and they become charged. This is how things become charged on the macroscopic scale.