Battery Failure Electro Chemistry Essay Research Paper

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Battery Failure Electro Chemistry Essay, Research Paper PROBLEM: BATTERIES TEND TO FAIL AT EXTREME TEMPERATURES. TESTABLE QUESTION: HOW AND WHY DO DIFFERENT BATTERY TYPES FAIL AT EXTREME TEMPERATURES? ELECTRO CHEMISTY BATTERY FAILURE HONORS CHEMISTY RESEARCH PROJECT HISTORY OF THE BATTERY The battery s origins may be followed back to very ancient times. We know that many of the wise men could have been exploring and testing electricity. For example, a clay vase, thought to be several thousand years old, was discovered in 1932 near Baghdad. It contained an iron rod inserted into a thin copper cylinder, which may have served to hold static electricity. Although we may never know the truth, it still makes one wonder if the ancients actually did try to harness static electricity.

Whether their predecessors who assembled the clay vase knew anything about static electricity or not, we know for certain that the ancient Greeks did. They knew if a piece of amber was rubbed, it would attract light weight objects. And Aristotle knew about the lodestone, a strongly magnetic ore that attracts iron and metals. Theses two facts prove that the Greek s had the thought process to extrapolate theories and ideas from simple experiments, thus leading many to believe that they had a basic understanding of basic natural forces. The next big step in the harnessing of electricity came when Benjamin Franklin began to suspect that lightning was an electrical current in nature. To test his suspicions, Franklin devised his famous experiment in which he fastened a key to a kite to

see if the lightning would pass through the metal. As we all know Franklin’s experiment worked thus proving that lightning is a stream of electrified air. Franklin went on to coin many of today’s standard electrical terms, including “battery,” “charge,” and “conductor.” Amber rubbing and lodestone studying aside, the actual development of batteries for everyday use has been a project since only the early 1800 s. Alessandro Volta, a professor of natural philosophy at the University of Pavia [located in Italy], constructed the first apparatus known to produce continuous electricity. To do so he stacked pairs of coin-sized discs, one silver, the other zinc, and separated the pairs by a wafer of pasteboard, leather, or some other spongy material. The wafers had been

soaked in salt water and sometimes, alkaline solutions. Several piles were assembled side by side and were connected by metal strips. At each end of the system, a metal strip was bent down to dip into a small cup of mercury, an excellent electrical contact. A few years later, in 1813, Sir Humphrey Davy came up with a giant battery in the basement of Britain’s Royal Society. It was made up of 2,000 pairs of plates and took up 889 square feet. Davy used this battery for experimental usages. Through electrolysis, he broke apart natural sodium and potassium compounds to isolate pure sodium and potassium metal. It was a risky undertaking because both explode on contact with water and must be kept immersed in kerosene or some other hydrocarbon liquid. Davy’s work, however, went

beyond mere tinkering in the basement with dangerous chemicals; the experiments he conducted were crucial. They paved the way to a deeper understanding about the electric nature of things that is; how elementary substances combine through electrical attraction to form common natural compounds. Close behind Sir Humphrey Davy’s battery experiments, Michael Faraday was using voltaic piles to conduct important research on electricity and magnetism. He found that by pumping an electric current through a wire, a magnetic field was induced in a parallel wire. Faraday pressed on and in 1831, he showed that a moving magnet could generate electricity in a nearby wire. Other scientists meanwhile were improving Volta’s piles. They realized that each zinc-paper-silver sandwich was