Difference Between Anode and Cathode

Main Difference

Both cathode and anode are the types of electrodes that show their specific responses within a magnetic or electric field. Actually both these electrodes are utilized for flowing current either into or out the electrical device. Anode or cathodes are the antonyms to each other that is why they can be easily differentiated. Although when both these electrodes work in reverse polarity it adds up confusion for the one. Anode is the type of electrode in an electrical device that usually works as positively charged terminal, on the other hand, cathode is the type of electrode in an electric device that usually works as negatively charged terminal. The flow of current within an electric device means the movement of electric charge. In anode the current flows into the device from outside, whereas in cathode current flows to outside of the device.

Comparison Chart

AnodeCathode
Type of ElectrodeAnode is the type of electrode in an electrical device that usually works as positively charged terminal.Cathode is the type of electrode in an electric device that usually works as negatively charged terminal.
Current FlowIn anode the current flows into the device from outside.In cathode the current flows out of a device that means electrons flow into this terminal from the outside.
AttractsAnode is the sources of positive charge in the electric device that attracts the negative charge or anion or works as an electron acceptor.Cathode attracts the positively charged cations, whereas the negatively charged anions stays away from it.

What is Anode?

Anode is the type of electrode in the electric device that usually works as the positively charged terminal. In anode the current flows into the device from outside, although when both the electrodes work in reverse polarity the sequence may not remain the same. In a galvanic cell, the anode is the electrode in which the current flows into the device, therefore it is the negative terminal, although in electrolytic cell, the anode is the electrode in which current flows from external generator to the anode, that is why it is the positive terminal in this case. Anode is the sources of positive charge in the electric device that attracts the negative charge or anion or works as an electron acceptor. It would be pertinent to mention here that the charge or (conventional) current can either flow from negative to positive or from positive to negative, so following this anode can either be the positively charged or the negatively charged.

What is Cathode?

Cathode is the type of electrode in the electric device that usually works as the negatively charged terminal. In cathode the current flows out of a device that means electrons flow into this terminal from the outside. Cathode’s current flow in the electric circuit with respect to anode can either be positive or negative. It attracts the positively charged cations, whereas the negatively charged anions stays away from it. In a device like battery which takes the energy, the cathode works as negative electrode, whereas in the device like discharging battery which provides the energy, the cathode works as positive electrode. It would be kept mention ed here that electrode is the conductors through which electric current enters or leaves the device. Generally the flow of electrons is always from anode to cathode, regardless the device type and operating mode.

Anode vs. Cathode

  • Anode is the type of electrode in an electrical device that usually works as positively charged terminal, on the other hand, cathode is the type of electrode in an electric device that usually works as negatively charged terminal.
  • In anode the current flows into the device from outside, whereas in cathode the current flows out of a device that means electrons flow into this terminal from the outside.
  • Anode is the sources of positive charge in the electric device that attracts the negative charge or anion or works as an electron acceptor, whereas cathode attracts the positively charged cations, whereas the negatively charged anions stays away from it.
  • In a device like battery which takes the energy, the cathode works as negative electrode, whereas in the device like discharging battery which provides the energy, the cathode works as positive electrode.

Comparison Video

YouTube video
Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss

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