Electrochemistry deals with chemical reactions that involve transfer of electron density—reactions either producing electricity or are caused by passage of electrical current through matter. These reactions are called oxidation-reduction (abbreviated as redox) reactions.
Here’s a brief list of units and definitions used when discussing redox reactions and their applications.
- The SI unit of electric charge is the coulomb, C.
- The elementary unit of charge is the charge of a single electron, which is equal to 1.602 × 10−19 C.
- Movement of electrons (or ions) carry electric charges from one place to another, and the quantity of such charge transferred per unit time is the electric current.
- Current has the SI unit ampere, A, which is the transfer of one coulomb per second (1 A = 1 C/s).
- Typically, electric current flows in a closed path, called an electric circuit.
- It is necessary to maintain a closed circuit for current to flow. If the circuit is open, current will not flow.
- Electrical potential, SI unit volt, V, is the ability of an electric field to do work on a charge.
- A flow of charge is caused by an electrical potential difference between two points in the circuit.
- When 1 coulomb of charge moves through a potential difference of 1 volt, it gains or loses 1 joule of energy (1 J = 1 C × 1 V).
- Electric power is the quantity of energy transferred per unit time and is measured in watts, W (1 W = 1 J/ s).
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