Topic 10-making electricity

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A cell, often reffered to as a battery, contains chemicals which react to produce electricity. In dry cells the chemicals are used up and then have to be replaced.

  • When metals form ions, they give away one or more elecctrons 
  • some reactive metals (eg lithium, sodium) lose electrons very easily
  • other metals (eg gold, silver) do not give electrons away very easily
  • The electrochemical series ranks the metals in order of reactivity

Electricity from pairs of metals

  • Electricity is produced when two differant metals are dipped in an electrolyte and connected with a wire
  • We measure metals giving away their electrons in volts
  • In a cell the more reactive metal gives its electrons to the less reactive metal
  • Electrons flow through the wire and ions move throough the electrolyte
  • Electrons cannot move through a solution

Cells made from two half-cells

  • You can produce electricity from a cell which is made of two different metals where the metals are dipping in a solution of their own ions
  • the essential features of a simple cell
    • there are two different metals 
    • the metals are separated from each other by an electrolyte
    • the metals are connected by wires through which electrons can…


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