beanz Magazine

Battery History

Joe Haupt on Flickr

Battery history is a critical part of the history of technology. Without stored electricity, there would be no electronics.

Electronics use a massive amount of electricity. No power equals no computers. Some electricity is provided on demand from power plants when we plug into a wall outlet. Batteries store electricity and deliver it slowly, for example, in our phones and wireless keyboards and computer mice.

So what is a battery exactly? It’s two chemicals that, when mixed together, generate electricity. A battery is designed to keep the chemicals apart. When you connect one end of the battery to the other end, however, the two chemicals send a stream of electricity from one end to the other. If you put a light bulb in the middle of this flow of electricity, the bulb will light up.

When these two chemicals mix, negative particles in their atoms called electrons begin to flow and create electricity. Some chemicals work better than others. And, over time, the chemicals degrade and no longer cause electrons and electricity to flow.

Batteries are either primary, used once then tossed away when spent, or secondary, used and recharged multiple times.


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