A Battery That Makes Cents
Many coins in the pile will make the most electricity. If there are more coins in the pile, then the more electricity it can produce, because the more electrons you have, the more electricity you will get. Batteries are expensive, but you can make one for exactly 24 cents! In this experiment, you will make your own voltaic pile using pennies and nickels. In the data, we will see if the number of pennies and nickels will affect the number of voltage and current. Problem
How many coins in the pile will make the most electricity?
If there are more coins, then the more electricity it can produce, because the more electrons you have the more electricity you will get.
Samatra, Ragus 2
You might think that batteries are a modern invention, but batteries were one of the first ways of making electricity. Alessandro Volta discovered the first electric battery in 1800. He made a giant stack of alternating layers of zinc, blotting paper soaked in salt water, and silver. This early design for a battery became known as the voltaic pile. How does a voltaic pile make electricity? The key to electricity is the movement of electrons. In a voltaic pile, electrons move from one metal to the other through the saltwater solution. The saltwater solution is called an electrolyte, and it contains ions in solution from the dissolved salts. An ion is a group of atoms that carries a positive or negative electric charge. The ions react with the metals, causing an electrochemical reaction, a special kind of chemical reaction that makes electrons. The two types of metals in a voltaic pile are called electrodes. Since there are two kinds of metals, one metal reacts more strongly than the other, which leaves an electrical potential difference, also called voltage, between the two types of metals. One metal becomes positively charged, the positive electrode and the other becomes negatively charged, the negative electrode. This causes electrons to move, creating an electrical current which is measured in amperes, and then you have electricity! In addition, the formula for voltage is current times resistance or V = I*R, so the formula for current will be voltage divided by resistance or I = V/R.
Samatra, Ragus 3
* Electrochemical Reaction - branch of chemistry that deals with the chemical action of electricity and the production of electricity by chemical reactions * Electron – Also called negatron, an elementary particle that is a fundamental constituent of matter * Voltaic Pile - battery consisting of voltaic cells arranged in series; the earliest electric battery devised by Volta. * Electrolyte – a liquid or gel that contains ions and can be decomposed by electrolysis. Materials
The materials and equipments that are needed for the experiment are: * Pennies (4)
* Nickels (4)
* Mild dish soap
* Vinegar (any kind, 1/4 C.)
* Salt (1 Tbsp.)
* Small bow
* Small plate (ceramic, plastic, or Styrofoam not paper or metal) * Digital multimeter (any kind that reads mA and mV)
Samatra, Ragus 4
* Paper towels (2)
The procedures for the experiment are:
1. In a small bowl, mix together 1/4 C. of vinegar (electrolyte) and 1 Tbsp. of salt (ions). 2. Using scissors, cut up a paper towel into small squares. 3. Place the small squares to soak in the bowl of salt-vinegar solution, and set them aside. 4. Gather some pennies and nickels, wash with a mild detergent (like dish soap), and dry. 5. Start building your stack on a dry paper towel on your plate. Put down a penny first, then place a square of vinegar-soaked paper towel on top, and then add a nickel. Keep repeating the layers until you have a stack of four coins (alternating pennies, wet paper towel pieces, and...