Grade: Elementary - Middle; Type: Physical Science
It is a very simple experiment to find out which brand of batteries have the longest life. Also we will discover whether rechargeable batteries provide devices with a longer continuous uptime than regular alkaline batteries.
- How does a battery work?
- What types of batteries are there? What are their compositions?
- How much power is in each battery?
Benjamin Franklin first coined the term “battery” when he thought that the arrangement of Leyden Jars look like a “battery of cannons.” The first electric cell was actually invented by an Italian physicist named Alessandro Volta. The unit “volt”, which is used to describe battery power is named after him. He created a chemical cell which contained sulfuric acid. The chemical cell he created wasn't very safe and portable however, but as the years passed, this has obviously been upgraded into what we use today: the finger-width cells that gives power to our lives.
- Different brands of AA batteries- Duracell, Energizer, Rayovac, store brands, etc.
- Digital Camera (notorious battery-eater..shortens our experimentation time!)
- Pen/paper These materials can be found at a drug store or an electronics store.
- Place your first chosen battery in the digital camera. Leave it on until it no longer has enough power to keep the camera on. Record the duration of that battery in the chart below.
- Repeat the above for all of your chosen batteries.
- Evaluate which battery held up the longest against the serious battery eater- the digital camera.
Terms: Voltage; electrodes; alkaline; NiMH; lithium
- Bellis, Mary. Alessandro Volta - Biography of Alessandro Volta - Stored Electricity and the First Battery
- Electric Battery History - Invention of the Electric Battery. The Great Idea Finder. Retrieved 20 February 2010.
- Stinner, Arthur. Alessandro Volta and Luigi Galvani (PDF). Retrieved 20 February 2010.