A measure of the tendency of a reaction at an electrode. An electrode of an element (M) placed in a solution of its ions (M+) constitutes a half-cell. In general a potential difference exists between the electrode and the solution, caused by reactions of the type M M+ + e. In practice it cannot be measured absolutely and standard electrode potentials are defined with reference to a hydrogen electrode under specified conditions of concentration, temperature, and pressure. Such reactions are oxidations, and so the term oxidation potential is often used. See also electrochemical series.
Related category PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY
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