# Are the terminals of a battery neutral?

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• Ahsan Khan
In summary, When the +ve terminal of one battery is connected to the -ve terminal of another battery, charge can flow until the potential difference between the two terminals reaches zero. This is due to the net buildup of positive and negative charge on the respective batteries, which eventually establishes a potential difference between the batteries as a whole. This process happens quickly and involves small amounts of charge, estimated to be less than a nanocoulomb or one microamp of current for a few volts of potential difference.
Ahsan Khan
Hi all,I discussed this question yesterday but didn't get a satisfactory answer.Why do no charge flows when the +ve terminal of one battery is connected to the -ve terminal of another battery.Please don't just say that my circuit is incomplete or open.In textbooks i read when two bodies placed a distance apart are placed on an insulated stand and they given opposite charge and when a wire is mad e to join them then electron begin to flow from -ve body to +ve body,though sudden though not in a flow but it do

Charge can flow until the the potential difference goes to zero between the two terminals. If electrons flow from the -v terminal of one battery to the +v terminal of the other, that creates a net buildup of positive charge on the battery that they left, and buildup of negative charge on the battery that they go to (by conservation of charge). That establishes a net potential difference between the batteries as a whole that will rise until it negates any difference in potential between the two terminals. No further current can flow then.

This will happen very rapidly and involves very small mounts of charge. You can an idea of how much charge by modelling the two batteries as isolated spheres. How much charge needs to be transferred in order to establish a few volts of potential difference? I'd estimate less than a nanocoulomb, or about a millisecond of one microamp of current. Then it's all over.

DrClaude and CrazyNinja

## 1. Are all battery terminals neutral?

No, not all battery terminals are neutral. In fact, the two terminals of a battery are usually labeled as either positive (+) or negative (-).

## 2. What does it mean for a battery terminal to be neutral?

A neutral battery terminal means that there is no net charge on that terminal. This is usually the case for the negative terminal, as it serves as the source of electrons in the battery.

## 3. Can a battery terminal become unneutral?

Yes, a battery terminal can become unneutral if it is connected to a circuit. In this case, the positive terminal loses electrons while the negative terminal gains electrons, creating a potential difference or voltage.

## 4. How do I know which battery terminal is positive and which is negative?

The positive terminal is typically marked with a plus sign (+), while the negative terminal is marked with a minus sign (-). You can also refer to the battery's label or instruction manual for more information.

## 5. Why is it important to know the polarity of battery terminals?

Knowing the polarity of battery terminals is crucial for proper installation and usage of the battery. Connecting the battery terminals incorrectly can damage the battery and the devices connected to it.

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