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The salt bridge keeps solutions from mixing. It consists of a gel containing a concentrated aqueous salt solution in an inverted U-tube and allows the flow of ions, which done affect the cell reaction. The salt bridge completes the circuit.
If the reaction were to occur without a salt bridge, the electrons would move from one side to another then promptly stop because of the charge difference. The salt bridge equalises the charge by allowing ions to flow between the two sides without allowing any of the solution to transfer.
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