An ion with a charge of +2 forms when an atom or molecule loses two electrons. Elements in the two columns on either side of the noble gases (columns I, II, VI and VII) will commonly lose or gain electrons in order to have an equal number of electrons as the noble gases, which are very resistent to ionization. I once had a wonderful teacher who explained that the noble gases were the “cool” elements, and the other elements wanted “to be like them”. The elements in column II of the Periodic Table are most commonly found as ions with +2 charges, in order to be “like” the noble gases, in column 0. Other common +2 ions don’t follow such a nice pattern, and need to be memorized.
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