Monday, April 7, 2014

The invention of chemical battery by Alessandro Volta

In Baghdad, archeologists discovered what they think was an electric cell made in ancient Babylon in about 500 BC. The cell consisted of a clay rod inside a copper cylinder.

The real history of modern battery development began in the 1790s, when Italian scientist Professor of Natural Philosophy (physic) at the University of Pavia, Alessandro Volta made the first modern electric cell. 

Volta’s famous experiment, described in a letter to the Royal Society of London in 1800, consisted of a disc of zinc and a disc of silver separated by cloth soaked in salt solution.

Volta placed many cells on top each other to make a battery. A continuous current of electricity was produced as soon as the two (silver disc and zinc disc) were connected by a wire conductor.

Volta became famous because of this invention and the words ‘volt’ and ‘voltage’ are named in honor of him.

Known as a ‘pile’, Volta presented his new invention – the Voltaic Cell to Napoleon Bonaparte in 1801, and became the father of the world first ‘dry’ battery.

Volta theory, that the joining of the metals themselves created the current, was not quite accurate. Several years later Michael Faraday and others proved that the current resulted from the chemical action of the salt solution on the metals.

The next step in the development of batteries was the invention of the Daniel cell by John Daniell, Professor of Chemistry at King’s College, London.
The invention of chemical battery by Alessandro Volta
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