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an electrode expected to have a constant potential, such as a calomel electrode, and used with another electrode to complete an electrical circuit through a solution; for example, when a reference electrode is used with a glass electrode for pH measurement, changes in voltage between the two electrodes can be attributed to the effects of pH on the glass electrode alone.
Etymology: L, referre, to bring back; Gk, elektron, amber, hodos, way
an electrode that has an established potential and is used as a reference against which other potentials may be measured.
A chemical electrode whose cell potential remains fixed and against which an indicator electrode is compared. The most common reference electrode is the silver/silver chloride (Ag/AgCl) electrode.
See also: electrode