Posted on 13 Apr 2016
Imagine a world without batteries. All those portable devices we’re so dependent on would be so limited! We’d only be able to take our laptops and phones as far as the reach of their cables, making that new running app you just downloaded onto your phone fairly useless.
Luckily, we do have batteries. Back in 150 BC in Mesopotamia, the Parthian culture used a device known as the Baghdad battery, made of copper and iron electrodes with vinegar or citric acid. Archaeologists believe these were not actually batteries but were used primarily for religious ceremonies.
The invention of the battery as we know it is credited to the Italian scientist Alessandro Volta, who put together the first battery to prove a point to another Italian scientist, Luigi Galvani. In 1780, Galvani had shown that the legs of frogs hanging on iron or brass hooks would twitch when touched with a probe of some other type of metal. He believed that this was caused by electricity from within the frogs’ tissues, and called it ‘animal electricity’.
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