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Investigating Voltaic Cells

Experiment #20 from Investigating Chemistry through Inquiry

Education Level
High School


In electrochemistry, a voltaic cell is a specially prepared system in which an oxidation-reduction reaction occurs spontaneously. This spontaneous reaction produces an easily measured electrical potential. Voltaic cells have a variety of uses.


In the Preliminary Activity, you will prepare a semi-microscale voltaic cell in a 24-well test plate. A voltaic cell is constructed by using two metal electrodes and solutions of their respective salts (the electrolyte component of the cell) with known molar concentrations. You will use a Voltage Probe to measure the potential of a voltaic cell with zinc and copper electrodes.

After completing the Preliminary Activity, you will first use reference sources to find out more about electrochemistry and voltaic cells before you choose and investigate a researchable question dealing with voltaic cells.

Sensors and Equipment

This experiment features the following sensors and equipment. Additional equipment may be required.

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This experiment is #20 of Investigating Chemistry through Inquiry. The experiment in the book includes student instructions as well as instructor information for set up, helpful hints, and sample graphs and data.

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