Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Physics: Charge your batteries!

First day of physics seemed like a great time to charge up our batteries. We started off by examining some batteries, taking note of things like voltage, size, and the fact that every battery has a positive and a negative terminal. After a brief discussion about what batteries are and how they work, the kids made batteries out of grapefruit, potatoes, and strips of copper and zinc. Using a multimeter we confirmed that our batteries worked. A single grapefruit or potato has a voltage of around 1 v, which compared to your 1.5 v AAs is no small potatoes! We attached wires to the battery, hooked up an LED, and NOTHING. Apparently 1 v is not enough voltage to power an LED. But, when life gives you lemons,make lemonade, or in my case, when life gives you a grapefruit tree, make several grapefruit batteries in series and voilà! Let there be light!

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