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An anion is a monoatomic or polyatomic species having one or more elementary charges of the electron[1].


The English scientist Michael Faraday discovered[2] the anion in 1834 while analysing the electrochemical properties of electrolytic solutions. In an effort to create an electrochemical nomenclature, he says in his 1834 publication, “Finally, I require a term to express those bodies which can pass to the electrodes, or, as they are usually called , the poles. Substances are frequently spoken of as being electro-negative, or electro-positive, according as they go under the supposed influence of a direct attraction to the positive or negative pole. I propose to distinguish such bodies by calling those anions which go to the anode of the decomposing body; and those passing to the cathode, cations; and when I have occasion to speak of these together, I shall call them ions. Thus,the chloride of lead is an electrolyte, and when electrolyzed evolves the two ions, chlorine and lead, the former being an anion,and the latter a cation.”


Here is an oil painting[3] of Michael Faraday: