my book says the following on conductivity in water with ions. I am confused about why electrons from the zinc (anode) repel positive ions. Because zinc becomes negative, shouldn't it attract it?

"At the same time this action is going on the electrons from the zinc, which are released near the surface of it repel the positive charges (ions) which are already in the solution, so that those that are near the copper electrode are attracted to it and cling to the surface of it thus charging it positively. As the electrons, which form the current, reach the copper plate through the external circuit they neutralize the positive charges that are deposited on it."

--How to Understand Electricity by A. Frederick Collins

  • $\begingroup$ Looks like seriously garbled writing. But since you didn't include the sentence defining "...this action ..." , it's hard to clarify. My guess is the author is mixing comments about the electron flow in the wiring with comments about ion flow in the solution. $\endgroup$ – Carl Witthoft Mar 30 '16 at 12:35
  • $\begingroup$ yes, that is correct. $\endgroup$ – st4rgut Mar 30 '16 at 15:19

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