UCSB Science Line How does the sum of the charges on the positive ions compare to the sum of the charges on the negative ions in ionic compounds? Question Date: 2007-07-05 Answer 1:Stable compounds have a NET charge of zero. Hence the sum of positive and negative is equal to ZERO always Answer 2:They must be equal, by definition! Otherwise you would get a shock everytime you touch ,for example, some table salt (NaCl). Answer 3:In any material, under equilibrium conditions, the positive and negative charges are exactly balanced with each other. So the sum of all the positive charges is equal to the sum of all the negative charges. If there were a net positive charge in a block of salt, for example, then it would attract electrons (which are negatively charged) from other materials nearby, including air. This would continue until the positive charge was exactly neutralized by negative charge from the electrons.But I get the feeling there's more to your question. Could you rephrase it if I missed something? Answer 4:They have to be equal. A net negative or net positive charge on any object will create tremendous voltages between it and any other object with a net charge, or even a neutral charge. Electrical current will flow to neutralize the charge. If there is no circuit to connect the two objects, then if the voltage is very large at all, it will MAKE a circuit - that's what causes lightning.Click Here to return to the search form.    Copyright © 2020 The Regents of the University of California, All Rights Reserved. UCSB Terms of Use