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A Study of the Battery

A Study of the Battery

In this highly technological world with advanced machines, electronics have been woven into almost every aspect of everyday life. Batteries are integrated into the majority of any electric appliance found in the home and work place, and therefore could be titled as one of the most important tools to ever be invented. The knowledge of how batteries operate is substantial to understanding the basics of any electrical contraption.

The first evidence of batteries was dated to be from in the neighborhood of 250B.C. These ancient batteries were discovered in archaelogical digs in Baghdad, Iraq. These antiquated batteries were used in simple operations to electroplate objects with a thin layer of metal, much the same way we plate things with gold and silver. Much later, batteries were re-discovered in 1800 by a man named Alessandro Volta. The electrical unit of potential was named after him-the volt. Alessandro Volta was born in 1745 and died in 1827, and in this time period he re-produced one of the most important parts of life. He developed the battery by alternating pieces of electrolyte soaked discs (sodium chloride), zinc, and copper plates. These plates and discs were stacked in a 1 2 3 order, and when a wire was placed on the two poles of the battery it would produce electricity.

Battery chemistry is a complex science to gain complete knowledge about, but basic battery chemistry will be covered. “An electrochemical cell uses energy released from a spontaneous chemical redox reaction to generate electric current. The current is derived from the flow of electrons conducted through the metal and the movement of ions in a solution, called electrolytic conduction. A battery consists of a single electrochemical cell or a number of cells connected in series.”(Fisher,518) A battery could be created by using a Zinc anode and a copper cathode. An anode is a part of an electrochemical cell that releases electrons to the cathode, therefore being oxidized, and a cathode receives the electrons from the anode, therefore it undergoes reduction. So to create the Zinc/Copper battery, the Zinc rod would be placed into a Zinc Sulphate solution(ZnSO4), and the Copper rod would go into the Copper Sulphate solution(CuSO4). When the two rods are connects in some way, by wire or by deliberate touch, many things happen. ...

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