How Do Batteries Work?
Almost everything today requires some sort of power in order to work; things like fans, speakers, cell phones, and remotes. All of these can be powered through the use of batteries. Batteries come in many different shapes and sizes, not all of them are small like the ones pictured above. After all, battery-powered cars do exist.
Batteries containers made up of one or more cells, in which chemical energy is converted into electricity and used as a source of power. Electricity is defined as the flow of electrons through a conductive path, called a circuit Batteries have three parts: a cathode (positive), an anode (negative), and an electrolyte. The charged (cathode and anode) ends of a battery is what connects to the electrical circuit.
In this experiment, we’ll be focusing on how batteries are able to conduct electricity. As mentioned before, chemical energy is turned into electricity by allowing certain chemicals to come into contact with each other in a controlled environment. Most household alkaline batteries have zinc as the negative electrode and manganese (IV) oxide as the positive electrode with potassium hydroxide for its electrolyte. The electrolyte acts as a wall of sorts, keeping the anode’s electrons from moving to the cathode (which has less electrons). When a circuit is established, electrons will flow along the wire towards the positive end of the battery.
In terms of how this electricity is expressed, when a light is a part of the circuit, it will light up as electrons flow through it to get to the other end of the battery.
Adding in some citrus
Now that we have an idea about how batteries work, we can experiment with different objects to see if they’d make a decent battery. Today, we’ll be working with lemons to see if they can conduct electricity the same way household batteries do.