Is the positive terminal of a battery positively charged?

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Main Question or Discussion Point

Does the positive electrode of a Daniel cell (the Copper electrode) actually have a net positive charge when the electrodes are not connected by a conducting material such as a wire? If not, does it have a net charge at all and how does this charge compare to the negative terminal?

Finally, are the answers to these questions true for every type of (galvanic) electrochemical cell??
 

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  • #2
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Does the positive electrode of a Daniel cell (the Copper electrode) actually have a net positive charge when the electrodes are not connected by a conducting material such as a wire? If not, does it have a net charge at all and how does this charge compare to the negative terminal?

Finally, are the answers to these questions true for every type of (galvanic) electrochemical cell??
Any cell that I can think of functions by moving electrons from an anode to a cathode. Since it is separating a charge, the electrodes have equal and opposite charges.

But when the circuit is open? I know that modern batteries don't retain the charges in their electrodes once the circuit is broken, but the Daniel Cell? I'm not sure... Is there a chemist in the building?
 
  • #3
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Battery's electrodes are charged. The value of the charge is [tex] \pm Q[/tex], where [tex] Q = CV[/tex], V is battery's voltage and C is the capacitance between the electrodes. Since the capacitance C is very small, the charge Q is usually negligible.
 
  • #4
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Battery's electrodes are charged. The value of the charge is [tex] \pm Q[/tex], where [tex] Q = CV[/tex], V is battery's voltage and C is the capacitance between the electrodes. Since the capacitance C is very small, the charge Q is usually negligible.
That's right! I never thought of the electrodes as capacitors, but I guess they are! So, does a 9V battery have more capacitance because of the way it is shaped? (the electrodes are closer together)

I would think so.
 
  • #5
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But when the circuit is open? I know that modern batteries don't retain the charges in their electrodes once the circuit is broken, but the Daniel Cell? I'm not sure... Is there a chemist in the building?
I've been interested in this question recently, and I was wondering if you could expand on this comment in this thread: https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=363541"
 
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