A half reaction is either the oxidation or reduction reaction component of a redox reaction. A half reaction is obtained by considering the change in oxidation states of individual substances involved in the redox reaction. Half-reactions can be written to describe both the metal undergoing oxidation (anode) and the metal undergoing reduction (cathode). Often, the concept of half-reactions is used to describe what occurs in an electrochemical cell, such as a Galvanic cell battery. Half-reactions are often used as a method of balancing redox reactions.
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