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A cathode is a type of electrode through which electrons move. Electrodes are an electrical conductor (usually a metal) that is connected to something that is not a metal. The cathode type of electrode delivers electrons (negative charge) and the anode collects electrons (has the positive charge). [1]

This lets an electrical current go into an electrical device such as a battery. It can also end in a vacuum, like in a cathode ray tube. In this case, the electrons may go into open space.

In other words, a cathode is a positive electrode on a battery and a negative electrode on an electrolytic cell. Electric current is perceived as flowing in the opposite direction that the electrons are flowing. So electrons go into the + terminal of a battery, but electric current goes out. Electrons go into the - terminal of an electrolytic cell, but electric current goes out.[2]

An electrode through which electrons flows out of the device is termed an anode because it is positively charged. An anode is a negative electrode on a battery and a positive electrode on an electrolytic cell.

Related pages


  1. "Anodes and Cathodes". AV8n. Retrieved 13 October 2013.
  2. "Anodes and Cathodes". Retrieved 13 October 2013.