Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

When a battery will no longer produce current

  1. Sep 10, 2006 #1
    When a battery will no longer produce current does this mean the negative and positive terminals have equal charge? Current flows from the negative to the positive based on there being a higher and a lower electric potential between the poles, so when the current stops flowing is it because these two poles have reached equilibrium?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 10, 2006 #2
    I think the electric potential of the poles are equal as there are no current produced
  4. Sep 10, 2006 #3
    Well, if that's true, there is still charge left in a battery when it won't work anymore because it has nowhere to go. What if both poles of a spent battery were wired to a new grounded reservoir? Would current flow?
  5. Sep 10, 2006 #4


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    A battery isn't like a tank full of electrons. It has no net charge and only works by pushing electrons around a loop.
  6. Sep 10, 2006 #5


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    A chemical reaction is allowed to occur by connecting the leads of a battery. Inside, a Reduction-Oxidation ("RedOx") reaction occurs in which electrons are transfered from one substance to anther (through your circuit). When the battery is "dead", the reaction is complete and no further work can be extracted out of the system.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook