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Liquid Electrical Conduction

June 8th Fact-of-the-Day

Electrical conduction through liquids is called electrolytic conduction. The charged particles needed to carry an electrical current are positive and negative ions are formed by electrolytic dissociation. The positive ions are atoms from which one or more electrons have been removed where a liquid contains a single type of atoms (where a liquid is monatomic). The negative ions are atoms having an excess of the normal number of electrons. Where a liquid has molecules composed of more than one type of atom, such as water, molecules may dissociate into their atomic form, but with electric charge. As with conduction through gas, current is due to positive and negative particles moving in opposite directions. However, unlike with gas, positive and negative ions in liquid have more nearly the same mobility and mass, so the total electrical current is more evenly divided between them. ©2005 Martek International All rights reserved.


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