de Levie, Robert Department of Chemistry, Georgetown University, Washington, DC.
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The equilibrium potential difference between two conducting phases in contact, most often an electronic conductor such as a metal or semiconductor on the one hand, and an ionic conductor such as an electrolyte solution (a solution containing ions) on the other. Electrode potentials are not experimentally accessible, but the differences in potential between two electronic conductors making contact with the same ionic conductor (that is, the difference between two electrode potentials) can be measured. A useful scale of electrode potentials can therefore be obtained when a particular electrode potential is set equal to zero by definition. There are several conventions, based on different definitions of the zero point on the scale of electrode potential, but all tables use the so-called standard hydrogen convention. See also: Electrode; Reference electrode
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