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I see this term pop up a lot -- for instance "charge is transferred from atom A to atom B", but it's never specified whether they're talking about positive or negative charge. I know electrical engineers use that weird background notation for current, but intuitively I would think charge transfer refers to an electron distribution that was originally localized about atom A now being localized about atom B.

Is my guess correct? Google is surprisingly unhelpful, because I can't find an actual authoritative definition, just more usage of the term.

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I will show this with a simple $Na^+$ and $Cl^-$ atom configuration. $Na$ atom loses an $e^-$ to become +vely charged. And the $Cl$ atom gains an electron to become -vely charged. Hence the charge on an electron is transferred.

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    $\begingroup$ I mean, the example is already known to me. I know how that process works. My question is on the terminology of the very specific phrase "charge transfer". $\endgroup$ – Nick Nov 23 '14 at 8:12
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    $\begingroup$ My question is isomorphic to the situation whereby a positron moving backward in time is equivalent to an electron moving in forward in time. One could say charge is moving through time, but without the specific type of charge and direction of time, such a statement is ambiguous. $\endgroup$ – Nick Nov 23 '14 at 8:14

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