Is potential energy and ionisation energy are same? Plz explain with respect to zinc Why zinc is undergoing oxidation when combined with with zinc. copper in electrochemical series


1 Answer 1


I believe you have some conceptual flaws:

I like to think of potential energy as the energy held in a system but more formally it is the energy possessed by a body by virtue of its position relative to others. It is really a product of work/energy being needed to be expended in order to move an object from one point in a field to another.

Ionisation energy is quite different. It is formally defined as the amount of energy required to remove one mole of outer valence shell electrons from one mole of a gaseous element.

Both of these concepts do not really have much to do with oxidation directly (as far as I know of). You might mean electrical potential or potential for short. This is simply the work done per unit charge. I would avoid using potential energy in the context of redox reactions and instead use terms like electric potential and potential difference.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ What a shame the question title is not "iron and copper". Then taking your avatar into account, the Deus Ex pun would be complete:) $\endgroup$
    – andselisk
    Mar 25, 2019 at 10:56

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.