the Florida State University
the National Science Foundation
Matthew J. Parry-Hill
In this interactive tutorial, users play with a simulated version of the historic "voltaic pile", commonly considered to be the world's first battery. Constructed by 18th-century scientist Alessandro Volta, the voltaic pile consisted of discs of zinc and copper alternated with pasteboard or leather moistened with brine or vinegar. Each three-disc unit comprised a single electric cell capable of producing a current. Volta's invention of the pile device was momentous because it provided the first consistent source of sustained electric current.
SEE RELATED MATERIALS for a biography of Alessandro Volta and a lab guide for constructing a voltaic pile battery in the classroom.
Mag Lab U is part of a large collection of web-based educational materials for K-20, developed by the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory at Florida State University.
Please note that this resource requires
Java Applet Plug-in.
Volta, animation, battery, current, electric cell, electric potential, historical instruments, history of electricity, history of science, interactive simulation, science history, voltaic
Metadata instance created
May 26, 2010
by Caroline Hall
February 5, 2015
by Caroline Hall
Last Update when Cataloged:
December 30, 2009
This resource is part of a Physics Front Topical Unit.
Topic: Electricity and Electrical Energy Unit Title: Electricity: A Historical Perspective
It sometimes helps students with concept formation if they can see how early scientists made momentous discoveries. In this tutorial, students play with a simulation of the voltaic pile device invented in 1800 by Volta -- commonly known as the world's first battery. Battery cells can still be assembled using this "recipe". SEE ITEM DIRECTLY BELOW for a lab to construct the voltaic pile device in the classroom.
Coyne, K. (Ed.). (2009, December 30). Mag Lab U: Interactive Tutorials - Voltaic Pile. Retrieved March 2, 2015, from Florida State University: https://nationalmaglab.org/education/magnet-academy/history-of-electricity-magnetism/museum/voltaic-pile-1800
%0 Electronic Source %D December 30, 2009 %T Mag Lab U: Interactive Tutorials - Voltaic Pile %E Coyne, Kristen %I Florida State University %V 2015 %N 2 March 2015 %8 December 30, 2009 %9 application/java %U https://nationalmaglab.org/education/magnet-academy/history-of-electricity-magnetism/museum/voltaic-pile-1800
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