plasmapy.particles.symbols.ionic_symbol(particle: plasmapy.particles.particle_class.Particle, mass_numb: numbers.Integral = None, Z: numbers.Integral = None) str

Return the ionic symbol of an ion or neutral atom.

  • particle (int, str, or Particle) – A str representing an element, isotope, or ion; or an int representing an atomic number.

  • mass_numb (int or str, optional) – The mass number of the ion or neutral atom.

  • Z (int or str, optional) – The charge number of the ion or neutral atom.


symbol – The ionic symbol. The result will generally be returned as something like 'He-4 2+', 'D 1+', or 'p+'.

Return type


  • InvalidIonError – If the arguments correspond to a valid particle but not a valid ion or neutral charged particle.

  • InvalidParticleError – If arguments do not correspond to a valid particle or contradictory information is provided.

  • TypeError – If particle is not a str, int, or Particle; or if either of mass_numb or Z is not an int or str representing an integer.


`~plasmapy.particles.exceptions.ParticleWarning` – If redundant mass number or charge information is provided.


>>> ionic_symbol('alpha')
'He-4 2+'
>>> ionic_symbol(79, mass_numb=197, Z=12)
'Au-197 12+'
>>> ionic_symbol('proton')
>>> ionic_symbol('D', Z=1)
'D 1+'
>>> ionic_symbol('H-1', Z=0)
'H-1 0+'