Terminal potential difference

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Homework Statement


I'm just wondering for a terminal potential difference in a battery, I know the formula is V= E-Ir where E=electromotive force and r is the internal resistance. But in my textbook, it says that when I=0, that doesn't mean that V is the same thing as E...it says 'the condition I=0 represents a balance between two opposing tendencies: The charges tend to minimize their electrostatic potential energy and the source of emf tends to separate them, and thereby to minimize some other form of energy, such as chemical bond energy.' I have trouble picturing what exactly they're trying to imply..could someone clear things up? Like I don't know what 'charges' they're talking about or how the emf is separating them if there's no current flow...


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