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Battery short circuit

S

Spencer

Jan 1, 1970
0
Can anyone tell me what happens to a battery if it short circuits. I know
that electrons move from the negative pole of the battery, through the
circuit to the positive pole. Why does is go flat if a conductor is
connected directly across the poles?



Regards,

Spencer
 
D

Don Bruder

Jan 1, 1970
0
Spencer said:
Can anyone tell me what happens to a battery if it short circuits. I know
that electrons move from the negative pole of the battery, through the
circuit to the positive pole. Why does is go flat if a conductor is
connected directly across the poles?

It takes energy (stored in the chemical bonds of the "filling") to push
those electrons across the conductor. Same as it takes fuel to move a
car. In the car, the energy comes from burning the fuel. In a battery,
the energy comes from the electro-chemical reaction that takes place
between the ingredients that make up the innards of the battery, and the
"can", or the carbon rod, depending on type.

Once all the chemicals in the battery have reacted with each other, the
battery is dead. Just like an out-of-gas car.

If you try this experiment (I'd advise against doing it in the house or
in an area with much in the way of flammables. Or at all, for that
matter... Lots of better ways to make dead batteries.) you'll probably
notice that the wire you use to short the terminals together will get
rather warm. Depending on the type and size battery you try this on,
that could mean "warm to the touch", or (and this isn't exaggeration)
the wire heating up enough to literally melt into a puddle of liquid
metal.
 
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