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You can also examine the reactions happening at the electrodes. The oxidation reaction happens at the anode and the reduction reaction happens at the cathode. If it is still unclear, you can also check reduction potential, in the sense that E has to be positive for the galvanic cell to work spontaneously.
Convention is for the anode to be written on the left side and the cathode written on the right side, hence why Enaught(cell)=E(right)-E(left). As mentioned above, you can always check to see what reaction is happening where, since oxidation occurs at the anode and reduction occurs at the cathode
Leslie Almaraz 4G wrote:how do you determine it based on the cell potentials? especially if the values are similar?
I believe that we should then check the formula sheet or appendix, and choose the substance with more positive reduction potential as the cathode. I think there should always be a difference that is not too small.
If you were given an image then I heard that typically the left side is the anode (oxidation) and the right side is cathode (reduction). In a cell diagram , the oxidation is always written on the left side and the reduction is always on the right. You can also look at the half reactions to determine which one is which if you are given them.
One of the UAs mentioned how we should not always rely on the anode to be on the left side and the cathode on the right side because it is possible for them to be switched. It would be more important for you to look at the given reaction and determine from there whether its a reduction (anode) or oxidation (cathode) and then look at the image that contains the electrodes.
There is no left or right in determining what an anode or cathode is. You should know that the anode is the part where things get oxidized and the cathode is the part where things get reduced. They may try to trick you on the test by switching the positions of the anode and cathode.
Bryce Barbee wrote:During discussion, my TA would tell us which one was the anode and which was the cathode. I think it is based off of left and right usually though.
My TA also would tell us which one was the anode and which one was the cathode.
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