D O C U M E N T 4 1 2 J A N U A R Y 1 9 2 5 4 0 7
412. To Paul Hausmeister[1]
Berlin, 2 January 1925
Esteemed Sir,
In the electrical decomposition of water, the practically applicable voltage is
greater than the theoretically anticipated
This means that an irreversible pro-
cess is in attendance here that is connected with a loss of energy. If this had not been
the case, the decomposition voltage would have had to increase with the pressure
of the reaction products in the manner you indicated. Since we do not have theoret-
ical command of the irreversible parts of this process, we cannot know how it is in-
fluenced by the pressure. Conversely, the study of the pressure dependence of the
decomposition voltage can contribute toward explaining the process effecting over-
voltage in the electrodes. This is a problem for physical chemists.
In great respect,
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