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    Hiwatari_yuki's Avatar
    Hiwatari_yuki Posts: 39, Reputation: 1
    Junior Member
     
    #1

    Jan 13, 2017, 01:09 PM
    How come zinc is the cathode
    In igcse chemistry third edition book
    For cells and batteries... as the book says zinc and copper are the electrodes and the electrolyte is dilute sulphuric acid so since zinc is more reactive than copper it dissolves in the acid and produces zinc ions and releases two electrons. These electrons produced at the zinc electrode cause it to become the negative terminal
    They flow to the positive copper terminal through the external circuit and so bubbles of hydrogen are seen at the copper electrode.

    Since zinc produces electrons how come it acts as the cathode losing electrons is supposed to make it positively charged so why is it negatively charged? And why is hydrogen going to copper when copper is supposedly positively charged? I just don't get it. I read it a million times and asked my sister my friend and my teacher to explain to me but I just don't understand please help
    Thanks in advance
    ma0641's Avatar
    ma0641 Posts: 15,681, Reputation: 1012
    Uber Member
     
    #2

    Jan 13, 2017, 03:16 PM
    You have it backwards. In a galvanic cell, oxidation occurs at the anode and reduction at the cathode. Anode oxidized--Cathode reduced
    So, zinc, being oxidized, will be at the anode, and copper will be at the cathode
    Hiwatari_yuki's Avatar
    Hiwatari_yuki Posts: 39, Reputation: 1
    Junior Member
     
    #3

    Jan 13, 2017, 11:09 PM
    ma0641 That it what is confusing me. What you said is what I understood but the book says zinc is the cathode and it just won't enter my head. Please some one explain
    talaniman's Avatar
    talaniman Posts: 53,880, Reputation: 10852
    Expert
     
    #4

    Jan 14, 2017, 10:13 AM
    Here is a link that may help explain this to you,

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galvanic_cell

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