Say I have a charge of +q and -q on the positive and negative terminals of a battery. If I connect wires to each terminal, but don't connect the wires (essentially creating an open circuit), the charges move around to neutralize the field in the wire.

During this transient state, charges move around. Would the charge on each terminal of the battery decrease a little during the transient state, since a field exists for a short period of time?

In other words, does the voltage and charge of the battery slightly decrease during the transient state?

  • $\begingroup$ Your initial statement is invalid. you might have +,- charge on the terminals of a capacitor, but that's not how a battery works. $\endgroup$ – Carl Witthoft Mar 13 '14 at 13:38
  • $\begingroup$ Why not? I thought the terminals of a battery were charged? $\endgroup$ – user41086 Mar 13 '14 at 13:39

The battery terminals are not charged.There is equilibrium between charges there.The Charges then build up and show potential when connected to external circuit this is due to chemical energy is converted to potential energy by decrease in gibb's free energy. Return to your question,electric charge just doesn't flow from one terminal to opposite terminal without internal current within battery (can be more understood in electrochemistry). What you saying actually happens and maybe cause for over-potential of battery.I am not sure this will help you.I might posted this in Comment but I have not privileges

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  • $\begingroup$ According to the accepted answer at physics.stackexchange.com/questions/31923/…, the terminals are charged. Is that answer wrong? $\endgroup$ – WillO Mar 13 '14 at 15:27
  • $\begingroup$ @WillO Yeah I was under the same impression. I thought that batteries generated fields in the wire by having excess charge on each terminal. My book agrees. $\endgroup$ – user41086 Mar 13 '14 at 20:23

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