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When the half-reaction for either reduction or oxidation doesn't contain a solid (reactants and products are both in aqueous form), you would have to use either Pt (s) or C (graphite) as the electrode. Usually, we use Pt (s).
You use Pt(s) in a diagram to allow electron current to flow. Without platinum or some other solid conductor, electrons would not be able to flow from the anode to cathode and there would be no voltage.
You know to add Pt(s) when the half reaction for either the cathode or the anode does not contain a solid. For the battery to function, we need a solid like platinum, which is an inert conductor, in order to exchange the electrons between the two reactions.
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