An electrical power source is connected to two electrodes, or two plates (typically made from some inert metal such as platinum, stainless steel or iridium) which are placed in the water. Hydrogen will appear at the cathode (the negatively charged electrode, where electrons enter the water), and oxygen will appear at the anode (the positively charged electrode). Assuming ideal faradaic efficiency, the amount of hydrogen generated is twice the number of moles of oxygen, and both are proportional to the total electrical charge conducted by the solution.However, in many cells competing side reactions dominate, resulting in different products and less than ideal faradaic efficiency. Electrolysis of pure water requires excess energy in the form of over potential to overcome various activation barriers. Without the excess energy the electrolysis of pure water occurs very slowly or not at all. This is in part due to the limited self-ionization of water.