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terminal through which electric current passes between metallic and nonmetallic parts of an electric circuit. In most familiar circuits current is carried by metallic conductors, but in some circuits the current passes for some distance through a nonmetallic conductor.
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 through which current leaves an electric device. In electrolysiselectrolysis
, passage of an electric current through a conducting solution or molten salt that is decomposed in the process. The Electrolytic Process

The electrolytic process requires that an electrolyte, an ionized solution or molten metallic salt, complete an
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, it is the negative electrode in the electrolytic cell.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(1) In an electron tube or a gas-discharge tube, the electrode that is the source of electrons that ensure the conductivity of interelectrode space in a vacuum or maintain the steadiness of the passage of an electric current through the gas. Depending on the mechanism of emission of electrons, there exist thermionic cathodes, photocathodes, and cold cathodes.

(2) The negatively charged electrode (pole) of a source of current (galvanic cell, storage battery).

(3) The electrode of an electrolytic cell, an electric arc, and other similar devices that are connected to the negative pole of a source of current.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


The terminal at which current leaves a primary cell or storage battery; it is negative with respect to the device, and positive with respect to the external circuit.
The primary source of electrons in an electron tube; in directly heated tubes the filament is the cathode, and in indirectly heated tubes a coated metal cathode surrounds a heater. Designated K. Also known as negative electrode.
The terminal of a semiconductor diode that is negative with respect to the other terminal when the diode is biased in the forward direction.
(physical chemistry)
The electrode at which reduction takes place in an electrochemical cell, that is, a cell through which electrons are being forced.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


1. the negative electrode in an electrolytic cell; the electrode by which electrons enter a device from an external circuit
2. the negatively charged electron source in an electronic valve
3. the positive terminal of a primary cell
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


A terminal on an electrical device that has a negative charge. Current flows from the cathode to the positively charged anode; however, the electrons actually flow from the anode to the cathode. Derived from Greek, cathode and anode mean "down" and "up" respectively. See electrode, cold cathode and OLED layers.

Cathode Emitters
In vacuum tubes, the cathodes are the emitters, and the anodes are the collectors.
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References in periodicals archive ?
- Cathodic Acrylic (Type) Global Competitor Market Share Positioning for 2019 & 2025
As can be seen that, after electrochemical modification, the number of minerals filled in the sample in the anodic zone decreases significantly, whereas some minerals in the sample in the cathodic zone aggregate (see zone A in Figure 6(d)).
At the beginning of the experiment, the slope of cathodic polarization curve was larger than that of anodic polarization curve.
The test results are clear: the PipePillo[R] support was determined to have negligible cathodic shielding effects while the foam support was determined to have significant shielding effects.
This work investigates the effect of ZnAl hydrotalcite intercalated with BTSA on the cathodic disbonding of epoxy coating.
Steel dissolution is as much as 40X that for cathodic deposition and is likely to discolor the coating.
With the addition of Corrosion Mitigation's expertise, UTRS will provide unparalleled service in cathodic protection, as well as all other areas of corrosion services.
Farwest Corrosion Control Company has patented a cathodic protection controller for steel water tank applications.
BAGHDAD / Aswat al-Iraq: Iraqi Industry Ministry started operating two projects to produce cathodic copper and copper-based cables.
BAC Corrosion Control Ltd (BAC) provides with the insurance against these costs by designing, supplying, installing, setting to work and maintaining cost effective, efficient cathodic protection systems that will mitigate corrosion, says the company.