Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science






When two electrodes are placed in a solution of an electrolyte and a voltage is applied, a continuous current will flow only when the voltage is equal to or greater than the decomposition potential of the electrolyte. At voltages above the decomposition potential, the current is proportional to the applied voltage, i.e. Ohm’s law where I = E/R. At voltages below, there is a temporary flow of current, existing until the products of electrolysis accumulate and produce an opposing voltage, causing the residual current to diminish. A plot of current versus applied voltage is at first almost horizontal, and the current is very small. At higher voltage, the curve straight line segment to the voltage axis gives the decomposition potential of the electrolyte. A greater portion of the research was devoted to an attempt to perfect a circuit, devised by G. Ewing, Union College, for deposition at controlled cathode potential. However, this work was unproductive and subsequently discontinued.

Included in

Chemistry Commons



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In Copyright - Educational Use Permitted.