# Is the positive terminal of a battery positively charged?

• p.tryon
In summary, the positive electrode of a Daniel cell (the Copper electrode) does not have a net positive charge when the electrodes are not connected by a conducting material such as a wire. However, when the circuit is open, the battery's electrodes are charged.
p.tryon
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??

p.tryon said:
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?

Battery's electrodes are charged. The value of the charge is $$\pm Q$$, where $$Q = CV$$, 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.

meopemuk said:
Battery's electrodes are charged. The value of the charge is $$\pm Q$$, where $$Q = CV$$, 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.

Archosaur said:
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"

Last edited by a moderator:

## 1. Is the positive terminal of a battery always positively charged?

Yes, the positive terminal of a battery is always positively charged. This is because the positive terminal is connected to the positive end of the battery's internal circuit, which contains positively charged ions.

## 2. What happens if the positive terminal of a battery is connected to the negative terminal?

If the positive terminal of a battery is connected to the negative terminal, it will create a complete circuit and allow the flow of electricity. This can cause the battery to discharge and can potentially damage the battery or any connected devices.

## 3. Can the positive terminal of a battery become negatively charged?

No, the positive terminal of a battery cannot become negatively charged. The positive terminal is always connected to the positive end of the battery's internal circuit, which is made up of positively charged ions. These ions cannot change their charge.

## 4. How does the positive terminal of a battery contribute to its overall charge?

The positive terminal of a battery contributes to its overall charge by providing a positive potential difference. This potential difference is created by the separation of positive and negative ions within the battery, which creates an electrical imbalance that allows for the flow of electricity.

## 5. Can the positive terminal of a battery be used as a negative terminal?

No, the positive terminal of a battery cannot be used as a negative terminal. The positive terminal is specifically designed to connect to the positive end of the battery's internal circuit and cannot function as a negative terminal. Doing so can damage the battery and any connected devices.

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