Questions tagged [electricity]

For questions involving electricity in the scope of chemistry. Note that questions about electrical circuits, semi-conductor diodes, etc. are off topic and more suited for EE.SE or Phy.SE.

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18
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5answers
2k views

Does chemistry change under high voltage?

Do chemical reactions change when you charge the entire reaction vessel plus or minus $\pu{1 MV}$ or more? Is there a name for such chemistry? I was looking at "electrochemistry" expecting to see a ...
12
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4answers
7k views

Does an electrically conductive gas exist at room conditions?

As I know, the gases are insulators, because their particles are mainly electrically neutral, and thus there is no movable charges in them. But maybe it shouldn't be always so, for example if a gas ...
10
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3answers
2k views

Is water stream deflecting in an electric field really based on water's polarity?

A common highschool chemistry example for the polarity of water is the experiment where stream of water is deflected under the influence of a charge (electric field). Now I have come across some ...
10
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1answer
532 views

What is the underlying chemistry behind the triboelectric effect?

I remember briefly studying the triboelectric effect in Physics but as I now approach the domain of Chemistry, I'd like to know what processes are involved (at the molecular level) when the the ...
8
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3answers
363 views

Current in Battery

When a battery is performing work on a charge and moves it to the higher potential, why doesn't the charge move through the battery and return to the low potential? Why does it go through the circuit?
7
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2answers
8k views

Can dust conduct electricity?

Just out of curiosity, can dust conduct electricity? The source of dust varies, is there any form of dust that can conduct electricity?
7
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2answers
835 views

How can we produce gasoline from electricity without fossil fuels?

The other day, I was wondering, if cheap and easy nuclear fusion were developed tomorrow and fossil fuels disappeared, would there be a way to fuel all the gas-powered cars out there? After all, we ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the optimal voltage for storing a 3.7 V lithium polymer battery?

According to this website, storing a lithium polymer (LiPo) battery/cell at around 40% capacity would be more beneficial for the lifespan of the LiPo cell comparing storing the battery at 100% ...
6
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1answer
2k views

Why does the dielectric constant of a solid increase due to a Frenkel defect?

In crystalline solids, an atom may be displaced from its original position in order to create a vacancy in the original location. This is referred to as a Frenkel defect. Why does this defect result ...
5
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2answers
2k views

What piezoelectric materials can be made at home? [closed]

I would like to know a few examples of transparent materials which exhibit piezoelectricity and can be purchased online or synthesized at home with ease.
5
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2answers
6k views

Why is a silent electric discharge used for the preparation of ozone from oxygen?

I learnt that ozone is prepared by passing oxygen through a 'silent' electric discharge. Can someone please explain what is meant by a 'silent' discharge here, and why that helps? I couldn't get a ...
5
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1answer
2k views

What is the heat energy required to perform electrolysis equivalent?

The question may be off-topic here. If my concept is flawed, please poke me in the rib (+: Sources on the internet indicate a minimum 1.2Volts is adequate for electrolysis of water; nominally 6V. ...
5
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2answers
106 views

What are the ideal pair of (everyday) elements to pair in a thermocouple

I want to create a thermocouple (to carry out experiments on thermoelectricity). I want to use the pair of everyday* elements (e.g $\ce{CuO}$ and $\ce{Al}$ wires) to create the thermocouple. The ...
5
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1answer
966 views

Formation of Bands in Semi-Conductors

At school, we are learning about semi-conductors and their applications in modern electronics. One of the features of semi-conductors is that there is a small energy gap between the valence and ...
5
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1answer
177 views

Does battery self discharge when connected?

I am an electric engineer, and I read about battery self discharge phenomenon. I was wondering whether a battery self discharge rate is the same when it is unconnected (i.e. in storage) and connected (...
5
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1answer
6k views

Do plasma globes generate ozone?

My kids and I were playing with a small plasma globe like this: After touching it we all noted a faint smell like that created by other high voltage static discharges, which I always understood to be ...
5
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1answer
199 views

Change of potential difference during electrolysis while adding salt

I was conducting a simple experiment at home on electrolysis. Obviously, when you build a circuit with a 9V battery, a lamp, and put two electrodes in water you measure a potential difference of ~9V ...
5
votes
1answer
157 views

Compound with a bright green emission when electrically excited

I rolled back the edit because I really am looking for the following: I am looking for an element or compound that would have a bright green emission when electrically excited and is a gas at between ...
5
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1answer
2k views

In a galvanic cell where the two electrodes are in the same electrolyte solution, why do reduction and oxidation occur separately?

In a certain book, I was presented with the following solution: An iron nail is attached by a piece of wire to a magnesium ribbon, and the iron and magnesium are placed into the same container, with ...
5
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0answers
65 views

Chemistry of charging an insulator material

Earlier this year, I had learnt in Physics class that rubbing two different materials against each other can charge the materials (i.e. cause each material to either be positively-charged or ...
5
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0answers
1k views

Is polymeric ethylene glycol conductive?

The other day, when we were doing the chapter Polymer Chemistry my teacher mentioned that Polymeric Ethylene Glycol (PEG) is conductive. [EDIT- By 'conductive', I guess my teacher meant, "...
5
votes
1answer
905 views

Entropy Change of Resistor

A very large swimming pool filled with water of temperature equal to $20\ \mathrm{^\circ C}$ is heated by a resistor with a heating power of $500\ \mathrm{W}$ for $20$ minutes. Assuming the water in ...
4
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3answers
2k views

Are homemade batteries economically practical?

Every kid who has been to a science fair knows that you can make a battery with a lemon, a potato, a penny and a nail. I've never done this and I'm not entirely clear on how it works beyond a hazy ...
4
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2answers
8k views

Could a lead-acid battery electrolyte be replaced by hydrochloric or nitric acid?

Hydrochloric acid, as well as nitric acid, are also strong acids like sulfuric acid. So, why are not they used commercially in lead-acid batteries?
4
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1answer
166 views

How could a rechargeable battery recharge itself?

I'm an engineering student preparing for my graduation, in one step of my graduation project I used a rechargeable battery(1.2 volt), i was shocked when this battery is starting to recharge it self ...
4
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1answer
1k views

Why do gases under low pressure conduct electricity?

In J. J. Thomson's cathode ray experiment, he used a discharge tube in order to make the gas inside conduct electricity. Why do gases under low pressure conduct electricity?
4
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1answer
881 views

Why did my lemon and penny battery fail?

I followed instructions in Popular Mechanics publication for making a battery using lemons and pennies but it didn't work. I have a few ideas on why it might not have worked and would like to know ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Why does two nails of the same material not produce electricity when placed in saltwater?

If I put two the same nails in a saltwater why could it not produce electricity when I put the metal aluminum and copper it produces electricity?
4
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1answer
902 views

Kohlrausch Law and conductivity

Im writing up a lab report at the minute and part of it concerns ions in solution and how they affect conductivity. I've been doing lots of reading and I think ive got the grasp of most of it, but its ...
4
votes
1answer
115 views

What is the effect of Helium-based surroundings (99% Helium) on electrochemical gas sensors?

I am currently working on a project measuring gas composition of car exhaust. In order to dilute the gas concentration down to something electrochemical sensors can read, I diluted the sample with ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Why do electrolytic concentrations affect voltage in electrochemical cells?

I know that the voltage of a cell is calculated via the Nernst Equation as $$E_\text{cell}=E^\circ-\frac{RT}{nF}\ln Q_\mathrm r$$ where $Q_\mathrm r$ represents $\frac{\text{concentration at the anode}...
4
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1answer
128 views

Negative Ohm reading from a Electrochemical reaction?

The purpose of my experiment is to determine which salt is the best electrolyte. The setup is a tarnished spoon (Ag2S) is placed on top of thin plastic pieces that separate it from a container coated ...
4
votes
1answer
398 views

Intuitive understanding of standard electrode potential

I have read many books on standard electrode potential and they define the term in various ways but I just can’t seem to get an intuitive idea of it. $$\ce{Cu^2+ + 2e- <=> Cu}$$ Standard ...
3
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2answers
386 views

Are there ionic solids that conduct electricity?

We are taught in school that ionic substances don't conduct electricity, and when they do, it is either because they are in a molten state or because they are in solution. I understand these concepts. ...
3
votes
1answer
66 views

Do electrons truly flow in circuit? [closed]

I know this sounds like a stupid question, but do electrons truly flow in a circuit? It doesn't seem logical for electrons to just break away from their atoms to go move through a circuit. If they did,...
3
votes
2answers
8k views

How exactly are ions in a Mass Spectrometer accelerated?

After a molecule is ionised, the ion is accelerated by an electric plate up to a certain kinetic energy by the attraction of the ion to the electric plate. However, after the ion has passed the ...
3
votes
2answers
827 views

Placing oxygen molecule into electric field

I am trying to understand what happens inside various types of air ionisers. Some of them are sold for their purported health effects (which I do not want to discuss here), another type are used in ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Electric field required to split water into oxygen and hydrogen

Others sources typically say that the minimum voltage required to split water into hydrogen and oxygen is 1.229 V. Overvoltage is typically required in a practical device due to inefficiency leading ...
3
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1answer
4k views

What is the electrical conductivity of pool water?

What is the electrical conductivity of pool water? I tried to find some information, unfortunately without success. I need to know it to make an underwater electronic project.
3
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1answer
63 views

Stritations in a discharge tube

I am reading about A cathode ray discharge tube and I still do not fully understand why that as you keep on lowering the pressure in the chamber it creates striations, Faraday's dark space and Crooke'...
3
votes
1answer
133 views

Is it possible to make a fuel cell that runs on triglyceride?

I apologize if this is a silly question. The reason I ask is I'm wondering if it would be possible to build a fuel cell that runs on body fat. I know ones for butane exist, could they work for this? ...
3
votes
1answer
58 views

Salt Bridge for Microbial Fuel Cell: Full or Partly Full?

I'm making a microbial fuel cell out of benthic mud and salt water in containers. My salt bridge will be made of agar and table salt solidified in PVC pipes. Does the salt bridge connecting the anode (...
3
votes
1answer
435 views

Why don't all electrodes produce the same results in the electrolysis of potassium iodide?

While in lab, I accidentally used two paper clips while trying to electrolyze potassium iodide and all I saw was was phenolphthalein turning pink at the cathode and no brown at the anode. I asked my ...
3
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0answers
799 views

Is electrolysis with AC current possible? [duplicate]

Optimizing everything else, would efficient electrolysis be possible with AC current? Most sources suggest to use DC, but can the water still be split/disassociated with AC?
3
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0answers
42 views

Question about the composition of a 1902 non-polarisable electrode diagram by Jagadis Bose

In his work, "Response in The Living and Non-living" (1902); page 6, Jagadis Bose describes a method for detecting nerve response. He explains that he uses iso-electric contacts with no current in the ...
3
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0answers
297 views

Why do electrons not flow through the electrolyte? [duplicate]

Why do the electrons not flow through the electrolyte instead of the external circuit in a electrolytic cell connected to an external circuit? I mean, if an electrolyte is a conductor why would the ...
3
votes
0answers
228 views

Why is kerosene destroying just my red LEDs?

Due to the nature of the problem, I've decided to post this on chemistry.stackexchange and not electronics.stackexchange, since I believe that the problem is chemical in nature. Long story short - we ...
3
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0answers
110 views

Electrical properties of 2D materials

This is regarding to the newly-discovered 2-D materials that can support electron flow, such as phosphorene and transition metal dichalcogenides. How do they conduct electricity? I also read that ...
2
votes
2answers
186 views

What is the safest way to hook up car battery jump cables and why? [closed]

I know that when both connecting and disconnecting battery jumper cables between two car batteries there is a prescribed safe way to do it. I can never remember the correct way because I can’t ...
2
votes
2answers
114 views

How to find the angle of emission of an X-ray during impact of accelerated cathode rays?

X rays are produced when accelerated cathode rays strike a metal target or a metal anode. How can we find the angle at which the X-ray is emitted from the metal anode or the target when the cathode ...