Date of Award


Document Type




First Reader



Jaroslav Heyrovsky invented the technique of polarography about 1920 at Charles University in Prague. With proper use one can obtain both qualitative and quantitative analyses of solutions of electro-oxidizable or electro-reducible substances at concentrations.

The key part of a polarography is the dropping mercury electrode. This consists of a fine bore capillary tube connected to a large reservoir of mercury. Each tiny drop which falls from the capillary has approximately the same surface area and takes about the same time to form and fall. The greatest advantage is that each drop is actually a new electrode, and there is consequently no change in the electrode with time nor any chance of poisoning. The dropping mercury electrode is usually the cathode of the cell, and a calomel reference electrode is used for the anode. These are attached to a slide-wire potentiometer.

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Chemistry Commons



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