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When Was the Electric Battery Invented-Introduction and Application
Batteries are one remarkable invention with a long history and an equally promising future. They have been there for quite a long time. American Scientist and inventor Benjamin Franklin first used the term battery in 1749 while doing some experiments on electricity. Today, batteries are manufactired in a wide range of sizes and types to cater to the demand for higher capacity, rechargeable, and safe batteries. Thanks to Alessandro Volta, an Italian physicist who invented the electric battery that provided the first source of continuous current. The electric battery is now one essential component applied to people's day-to-day lives.
When Was the First Electric Battery Invented?
In the 18th century, Scientists were interested in anything that concerned electricity. For instance, Ben Franklin conducted his famous kite experiment in 1752 using electricity from lightning. Leyden jars invented in 1746 could store charge and produce electricity sparks, and doctors used electric shocks to treat patients. Scientists could not do further research on any other practical uses of electricity due to the lack of a source of a continuous current. Fortunately, Alessandro Volta invented the first electric battery that was the first source of continuous current in 1800 after a scientific dispute with Luigi Galvani, an Italian physician, and anatomist.
In 1780, Galvani experimented a new form of electricity using dissected frogs' legs and spinal cords mounted on iron or brass hooks. In the experiments, the frog's legs could move anytime they touch another metal, and they could also jump when hanging on metal during a lightning storm. These observations convinced Galvani that the frog's muscles could generate electricity; he called the phenomenon "animal electricity." Volta was against Galvani’s use of frog muscles in electric experiments. He argued that the frog parts were reacting to the electricity and did not produce it, so being a dedicated experimentalist, he set his experiment to prove Galvani wrong. Volta introduced the voltaic pile to show clearly that an electric current did not require any animal parts, as Galvani thought.
Alessandro Volta first reported the electric pile in a letter addressed to Joseph Banks, the president of the Royal Society of London, on March 20, 1800. He then traveled to various countries and major cities such as Paris, France, to demonstrate his invention. The battery was a huge success and brought him great renown. After many studies and experiments by other inventors and Scientists, people immediately recognized the voltaic pile as a helpful device. Other scientists made many improvements to the Volta's original design, and in a few years, it was powering almost all electrical appliances.
Who Invented the First Electric Battery?
Alessandro Volta is the forerunner of the modern battery. He invented the first electric battery in 1800. Volta was born in 1745 to a wealthy noble family in Como, Italy, and later joined the Como Jesuit School for his primary education. While in school, he also entered a local seminary when his teachers wanted him to join the priesthood community. On the other hand, his family tried to persuade him to study law. However, Volta developed an interest in Physics at age 14, and like other scientists, he was fascinated with any matters concerning electricity.
Nonetheless, Volta chose to drop his formal studies; he did not reach even the university level. He made up his mind to pursue his passion, and by age 18, he was corresponding real good with other famous scientists. Volta spent most of his time conducting experiments at their family friend's laboratory. Volta was so devoted to learning and exploring the electric phenomenon that he came up with a treatise "On the forces of attraction of electric fire" in 1769. This piece of writing explained one theory of the electric phenomenon. After this study, he joined Como grammar school in 1774 as an instructor and still did more electrical experiments there. He also devised a "perpetual electrophorus," which transferred charge to other objects in 1775.
Volta's early hard work made him a famous scientist. He became a professor of physics at the University of Pavia later in 1778. His most significant contribution to Science was the voltaic pile he invented after an argument with Luigi Galvani. Even though this electric battery made Alessandro Volta famous, he seemed to have wanted a private life. He did not perform any other research and experiments till his death on March 5, 1827, at age 82. Volta’s portrait still appears on currency and stamps, and Scientists used his name in the unit of electric potential, that is, the volt.
What Was the First Electricity/Battery?
The first actual battery, which came to be known as the electric pile, was invented by Volta in 1800. Volta set out an experiment to show conclusively that animal parts did not contribute anything to electricity generation. So he put together an alternating stack of silver and zinc discs separated by a cloth soaked in brine. Volta built a pile that looked like the electric organ of torpedo fish; it consisted of about thirty discs altogether. Anytime he connected a wire to both ends of the stack, there was a steady current flow. He later on, realized that using different metals affected the amount of current produced and, adding discs to the pile increased the amount of current produced. The available instruments could not detect weak and strong currents at that time. To make the experiment work, Volta tested various combinations of metals by placing them on his tongue and found that zinc and silver produced the best results.
Volta initially described this battery as an "artificial electric organ." In his demonstrations, he emphasized that animal tissue was unnecessary for producing currents, as Luigi Galvani put it. The voltaic pile sparked a controversy that swung the community to his side. Even though the voltaic pile had some technical flaws like electrolyte leaking and short battery life, it was the best in producing continuous electricity and stable current. Moreover, other inventors and scientists came up with ideas to help solve the flaws. One Scotsman, William Cruickshank, put the elements in a box instead of piling them to form a trough battery to prevent electrolyte leaking. William Sturgeon, an English inventor, solved the latter problem of short battery life in 1835. Despite the flaws, no battery compares to the voltaic pile. It has contributed to so many new experiments and discoveries, like the first electrolysis of water by the English surgeon called Anthony Carlisle.