# Coulomb

## Electrolytic Cells

The coulomb (as a unit) can be thought of in another way, as given by the following equation: 1 coulomb = 1 ampere X 1 second. The ampere (amp) is the metric unit used for the measurement of electrical current. Most people know that electrical appliances in their home operate on a certain number of "amps." The ampere is defined as the flow of electrical charge per second of **time**. Thus, if one multiplies the number of amps times the number of seconds, the total electrical charge (number of coulombs) can be calculated.

This information is of significance in the field of electrochemistry because of a discovery made by the British scientist Michael Faraday in about 1833. Faraday discovered that a given quantity of electrical charge passing through an electrolytic cell will cause a given amount of chemical change in that cell. For example, if one **mole** of electrons flows through a cell containing **copper** ions, one mole of copper will be deposited on the **cathode** of that cell. The Faraday relationship is fundamental to the practical operation of many kinds of electrolytic cells.

See also Electric charge.

## Resources

### Books

Brady, James E., and John R. Holum. *Fundamentals of Chemistry.* 2nd edition. New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1984.

Holton, Gerald, and Duane H. D. Roller. *Foundations of Modern Physical Science.* Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, 1958.

Shamos, Morris H., ed. *Great Experiments in Physics.* New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1959.

Wilson, Jerry D. *Physics: Concepts and Applications.* 2nd edition. Lexington, MA: D. C. Heath and Company, 1981.

David E. Newton

## Additional topics

Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: *Cosine* to *Cyano group*Coulomb - History, Coulomb's Law, Applications, Electrolytic Cells