The History Of The Battery Essay

998 words - 4 pages

The invention of the battery has become an important and widely used source of stored electricity. Since the development of the first battery, there has been many changes and improvements made to its design as well as its uses. Modern day society has become dependent on its many uses, most commonly for our luxuries and conveniences. However, in the beginning, the invention was most important to the scientists in there study of electricity.Batteries produce electricity by means of a chemical reaction. A battery consists of cells connected together to produce an electrical force. The basic principle of an electric cell states that electricity can be produced by a combination of two different metals and a solution that would conduct the electricity. A battery is composed of two plates called electrodes. One of the electrodes contains a positive charge and the other a negative. Between the electrodes flows a system of charged particles, called electrons, which is carried by the chemical solution called electrolyte. The electrolyte separates the positive and negative electrodes. The completed circuit is formed when the electrodes are connected by a wire creating the path around which the electricity passes.The reaction of this path on the electrode causes the electrons to produce at a rate which exceeds the capacity of the electrode causing the electrons to flow around the path of the circuit and into the cell of the opposite electrode. This process causes gradual changes to the electrolyte solution therefore eventually rendering the cells unable to produce the current.The measurement of electricity referred to as a "volt" is named after Alessandro Volta, (1745-1827), a pioneer in the study of electricity and credited with the invention of the battery. Born and raised in Como, Italy, Volta was educated in Como's public schools. Interestingly, Volta's family was convincedthat Volta was mentally retarded due to his inability to speak until the age of four. After turning seven years old, and following the death of his father, Volta began to progress and soon exceed the level of the other children. In 1774 he became professor of physics at the Royal School of Como and in 1779 went on to become professor of physics at the University of Pavia at which he remained for 25 years. In 1800 is when he invented the "voltaic pile", soon after to be known as the battery. In honor of his work in the field of electricity, Napoleon made him a count in 1801.Volta, used a previous experiment by Luigi Galvani as the basis of his innovation. Galvani constructed a crude electric cell with two different metals and the natural fluids of a dissected frog. Volta went on to modify and in many ways correct Galvani's initial findings. Galvani was attempting to prove his theory that animal tissues generate electricity. Volta was able to show that the brass and iron used in Galvani's experiments were indeed generating an electrical current however the legs of the frogs that he used...

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