Electricity and Magnets


  1. Making your own battery using a capacitor
  2. How to see the magnetic field

Making your own battery using a capacitor

In this experiment, I will show you how to make a battery using a capacitor. Alessandro Volta was a physicist, chemist and a pioneer of electrical science. He is most famous for his invention of the electric battery. In brief, he: Invented the first electric battery which people then called the “voltaic pile” in 1800. Around 1800, he invented a wet battery called a Voltaic Pile. The Voltaic Pile consisted of discs of copper and zinc separated by discs of paper or cardboard (soaked in salt water).

Things you’ll need: 5 pieces of wire, a 9v battery, a 470uF capacitor (or a 100uF capacitor but the first one is better), a 1K resistor, and a LED light (Tip: can’t find the capacitor and the resistor? Then search in motherboards in old TVs. I used them from a kit).

20170308_144648 copy


The diagram

1. Build the circuit, then connect the battery (+) to the capacitor. Nothing would happen, but you just filled up the 470uF capacitor with electricity.

2. Disconnect the capacitor from the battery.

3. Connect the capacitor to the LED.

What happened? The LED  will be lit and then go out after a  few seconds as the electricity you stored in it is discharged trough the LED and the resistor. The capacitor stores electrical energy while a battery stores chemical energy. There are still a lot of ways to make a battery but this is a rare way.

How to see the magnetic field

In this experiment, I’ll show you how to see a magnetic field.

Things you’ll need: A bar magnet, iron filings, tape, a paint brush, a small corrugated plastic sheet (or a piece of stiff paper ).20170408_140610

  1. Tape the magnet onto the corrugated plastic sheet.20170408_135637
  2. Flip the plastic sheet and pour iron filings on it.20170408_135704
  3. Use the paint brush to spread the iron filings.20170408_135726
  4. You’ll see a magnetic field.

    My magnetic field (click on picture to make bigger)

    A magnetic field is a picture that we use as a tool to describe how the magnetic force is distributed in the space around and within something magnetic. Magnetic fields never cross, and magnetic field lines don’t start or stop anywhere, they always make closed loops and will continue inside a magnetic material.

About Dan the Young Scientist

Science is my Life!
This entry was posted in Experiments and Studies and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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