Battery Info

   Although this is an experimental project, here are some of the basics about batteries.  It will help you to understand this site.

After reading this page, take the quiz to test your knowledge. 

Navigation: Basic Info, Different metals, Prices, Diagram, Quiz


       Circuit diagram (above)

source: http://www.qrg.northwestern.edu/projects/ vss/docs/Power/2-how-do-batteries-work.html       

Batteries are a portable source of electricity.  They are used in many ways.  Some are disposable, others are rechargeable.  They can be used in many different electrical devices, for example: boats, cars, watches, cordless telephones and Mp3 players. 

A battery has a positive and a negative electrode.  The positive electrode is called a cathode, and the negative electrode is called an anode.  In batteries, each electrode contains a different metal.  In an alkaline battery, the anode metal is manganese dioxide and the metal in the cathode is zinc.  For the anode and cathode in other batteries look at the table below.

To separate the anode from the cathode there is an electrolyte.  The negative electrons want to get to the cathode but the electrolyte blocks the way.  To power a light, for example, the electrons go though a circuit, powers the light and arrives at the positive end (cathode) of the battery.  (view diagram)


The positive and negative metal in batteries:

Battery   Alkaline Lithium Heavy Duty Nickel Cadmium Nickel metal hydride
Anode manganese dioxide manganese dioxide zinc nickel nickel
Cathode zinc lithium carbon cadmium titanium

                                       The prices of the batteries:

What battery? Alkaline Lithium Heavy Duty Nickel Cadmium Nickel Metal Hydride
Price for 2 AAs $2.49 $11.99 $1.99 $7.99* $9.99*
Rechargeable? NO NO NO YES YES

     *not including the price of a charger ($30) 


Diagram of how a dry cell battery works:

The diagram is from Encarta encyclopedia 2005.  Under permission.

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