Oxidation and Reduction (noun, “Ox-ih-DAY-shun”, noun “Re-DUCK-shun”)
Oxidation is a process in which one or more of an atom’s negatively charged particles — electrons — are stolen by another atom. Reduction is a process in which an atom steals one or more electrons from another type of atom. These processes occur together. When this happens, the atom doing the electron-stealing gets reduced. The atom whose electron or electrons have been stolen is said to be oxidized.
Put together, oxidation-reduction reactions are also called redox reactions. They are very common chemical reactions. Rust, for example, is a redox reaction. When iron combines with water, the oxygen atoms in the water molecules steal electrons from the iron atoms. The oxygen is reduced — it gains electrons. The iron is oxidized — it loses electrons. The result of this chemical reaction is the breakdown of the metal over time.
In a sentence
A type of rewritable paper can be used over and over again thanks to oxidation and reduction.