# Can we create a galvanic cell with only half a cell connected to the ground? [closed]

I have a question about electrical potential in galvanic cells ,suppose that we have only half a cell wich means that we have only one Ox/Red couple (one metal and the other as ionic solution ...)clearly nothing will happen ,suppose that we put a wire between the metal and the ground .The ground has no voltage while the Red/OX couple has a potential does It mean that the oxidation will happen ? and the electrons will go through the ground ?If the oxidation happens with any kind of OX/RED couple ,and if we take a couple wich the deltaG of the oxidation reaction is very high (so It's very unlikely to happen all by Itself ) won't we be creating a free source of energy ? Thank you !

## closed as unclear what you're asking by bobthechemist, ashu, Philipp, jonsca♦Sep 27 '13 at 22:23

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• Can you specify what you mean by a "free source of energy"? It's vague as it stands. – jonsca Sep 27 '13 at 22:24

The reason all of this takes place is because the process results in a lower overall energy state after it occurs. In other words, the zinc atoms would rather be combined with $\ce{SO4^2-}$ ions than with each other, and the copper ions would rather be combined with each other at the anode than with the $\ce{SO4^2-}$ in the solution. The only way this can happen is if electrons are moved from the cathode to the anode and the easiest way is via the wire and circuit outside the battery. Without the electron flow, the chemical reaction between the two half cells is inhibited. Conversely, without the chemical energy potential of the reaction between the two half cells, there is no reason for electrons to flow.