In the technologically-underpinned modern world, most of us interact with a battery of some sort every day. Whether that’s the starter battery in a car, the lithium battery in a phone, or even just the coin cell battery in a wrist watch, batteries underpin a lot of what makes society possible now. Not so in the early 1800s when chemists and physicists were first building and experimenting with batteries. And those batteries were enormous, non-rechargable, and fairly fragile to boot. Not something suited for powering much of anything, but if you want to explore what it would have been like to use one of these devices, follow along with [Christopher]’s build of a voltaic pile. Continue reading “The Voltaic Pile: Building The First Battery”
The Story Behind Ohm’s Law
Do you ever wonder how much of what we do you could figure out from scratch? Tying your shoe might seem simple now, but kids have trouble mastering the skill, and dreaming it up for the first time is even harder. The same holds true for a lot of technology we use every day. Would you think up the computer mouse or even the computer if they didn’t already exist? Surely, though, one of the simplest and most useful math equations that is fundamental to electronics — Ohm’s law — would be easy to figure out, right? It is often the first thing you learn about electronics, but figuring it out that first time turned out to be quite difficult.
The fellow who discovered the relationship was Georg Ohm, a high school math and physics teacher from Köln. What you might not know is that the first time he published it, he got it wrong. But, lucky for us, he figured out his mistake and was able to correct it.