Topic of the Week

Electroplating: Oxidation-Reduction Reactions  
Electrons are the currency in electrochemical reactions. Electrochemical reactions depend on transfer of electrons from one atom, ion, or molecule to another. Sometimes these electron transfers can be externally forced, and sometimes they are spontaneous

Each field of study or work develops its own language. Chemistry is no exception. We have words that we use to tell whether an atom, ion, or molecule steals or gains an electron (thus reducing its charge or moving the overall charge in the negative direction), or if it gives up an electron, thus moving its overall charge in the positive direction.

These words are ... Reduction and Oxidation.

Reduction: Gain of an electron, moving the overall charge in    the negative direction, or reducing it.
Oxidation: Loss of an electron, moving the overall charge in the positive direction.
Video
Electroplating a key
The microLAB Model 232 Electroplating Module uses two AA batteries to provide voltage to force electrons to participate in electrochemical reactions. The battery is just an electron pump. It pulls electrons into its positive pole (the red terminal) and pushes them out the negative pole (the black terminal). A simple flashlight bulb monitors the flow of electrons from the batteries to the reaction and back.
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