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In order to understand what an ion is, one must go back to the last constituents of matter. The constituents of solid, liquid and gaseous matter are molecules, which are themselves constituted of atoms. Each atom of any chemical element is made up of smaller electrically charged particles. Under normal conditions, an atom appears electronically neutral, because the total negative charge of electrons and the positive charge of the nucleus neutralize each other exactly. It can happen that an atom, or a molecule or a fragment of molecule can lose or gain one or more electrons with respect to those it has when it is neutral. These charged bodies are called ions. Thus, the ionization is a necessary step to extract an electron from the external orbit of the atom and this is possible when energy is supplied.

It is the name given those molecules of air when they are associated with an electrical charge, be it positive or negative. This effect is at its maximum in mountain air, where the quantity of ionized air particles is more than 4000 per cm3. It must be understood that in a cm3 there are in total more than 2 millions of millions of particles of which only a minimal part is ionized. This small part of particles is that which has a fundamental influence in the life of the living beings, animal and plants, and in particular of man. From the distribution of the positive or negative charge can depend the health, growth, operative efficiency of many living beings.

Technically, great quantities of negative ions can be produced by applying the phisical principle of bringing a pin point to an elevated potential , until a spontaneous emission of electrons (also called crown effect) is obtained. This principle, in concept very simple, requires a certain accuracy in realization. The equipment, in order to be able to function for long periods of time under high tension, must be studied with particular attention to the choice of components , design and electrical connections.

The electrons emitted by the ionizer negatively charge the oxygen molecules and atmospheric nitrogen thus are formed negative ions.
Molecules of the same sign repel. Each other and increase the deposit speed of the suspended particles , which, by electrostatic attraction, are draion from the ground and from surfaces. Therefore the phisical phenomena which occurs is rather simple; it must be kept in mind that various factors, such as temperature, humidity, etc. can influence it. Bacteria which is transmitted by way of air undergo a reduction, since they are usually aggregated to dust particles to form large positive ions.The same happens to odours constituted by gaseous molecules.
To summarize, the air ionizers serve a double action:
1) They increase the speed of sigarette smoke deposit and of atmospheric dust to which polluting substances can be aggregated , thus determining a real and p roper cleansing of the air.
2) They restore in confined and stagnant air a natural ionic equilibrium, generating negative vital ions, equal to those given by atmospheric phenomena

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