I've been trying to understand this but there are some points that lead me to confusion. The first is that a lot of people have been saying the the chemical reaction in the battery starts when you connect the two ends of the terminals to a load. I figured i guess the reaction won't take place unless you connect it to the other end because their is only so much charge the zinc can hold and when you connect the two ends the electricity can escape and the reaction can take place again. If this were the case though shouldn't I be able to attach enough wire to only the negative end and have the electrons escape into that? And also I thought that if if I took something that was an oxidizer such as hydrogen peroxide and attached the negative end of a battery to it, electrons would flow from the wire and react with it. But lacking hydrogen peroxide on hand I thought I would try just salt water. Since salt dissociates into Na+ and Cl- I figured the Na+ would be able to act as an electron acceptor and would take the place of the cathode, but that didn't work when I tried it. I haven't tried the first one but the second one I did so I'm wondering if the first one would happen as I think it would and I'm wondering why the second one didn't.