Historical Background of the Battery
Batteries were one of the significant inventions that were developed prior to the 1900s (Hirsh & Finn, 2002). Batteries were the main source of electricity during the time when electricity was not easily available to the common household (Hirsh & Finn, 2002). In doing so, batteries could be identified as a transformative technology during its time, based on the many contributions that this invention has provided to support society’s needs (Hirsh & Finn, 2002). The discovery and creation of batteries had involved many years of experimentation as demonstrated by the different inventors of this technology (Hirsh & Finn, 2002). The developmental stages that were involved in its creation began with Luigi Galvani (1737-1798) who discovered “animal electricity” through an accidental energy surge that came from a frog’s leg during a dissection process (Battery Facts, 2012).
However, Padova Alessandro Guiseppe Antonio Anastasio Volta (1945-1827) disagreed with Galvani’s (1737-1798) discovery based on the idea that electricity may have been triggered by a chemical reaction between two different elements (Battery Facts, 2012). Eventually, Volta (1945-1827) discovered the voltaic pile in 1800, which is better known as the battery (Hirsh & Finn, 2002). The voltaic pile is described to consist of pile of zinc and silver discs between alternative discs, and a piece of cardboard that had been saturated in saltwater (Sha, 2012). The bottom zinc disc was connected to the top silver disc using a wire, which produced repeated sparks (Sha, 2012). Volta (1945-1827) continued to build different piles using a variety of elements that led to many more trials of development and improvement (Hirsh & Finn, 2002).
Different scientists and inventors continued to explore and conduct experiments to further improve the concept behind the Voltaic pile (Battery Facts, 2012). William Sturgeon (1783-1850) discovered solutions to strengthen and sustain electrical current in the battery, which was far better than what Volta has previously invented (Battery Facts, 2012). Likewise, Sturgeon (1783-1850) developed a longer lasting battery that prevented erosion due to impurities in the zinc plates (Battery Facts, 2012).
John Daniell (170-1845) followed suit in improving the Voltaic battery by developing remarkable results, which led to solving the problem of polarization (Batter Facts, 2012). From 1834-1889, Gaston Planté constructed a battery for electrical energy storage, including the elimination of free acid in the battery (Battery Facts, 2012). From 1839-1882, Georges Leclanché developed the Leclanché cell that was used extensively for telegraphy, signaling, and electric bell work (Battery Facts, 2012). This cell provided great use in the early stages of the telephone (Battery Facts, 2012).
Through the years, the Leclanché cell improved, which led to development of the first “dry” cell in 1887 by Carl Gassner (Battery Facts, 2012). Six well-known batters were in circulation by 1889 (Battery Facts, 2012). By the time the 1900s came, smaller and lighter batters were manufactured to perform more rigorous working conditions (Batter Facts, 2012). Many more inventions and discoveries trailed through many years, until the creation of the modern battery came into the technological world that provided the ability to sustain long hours of use and recharge batteries through electrical input (Battery Facts, 2012).
Contribution of the Battery to Society and Education
Technology plays a significant role in today’s society (Educause Center for Applied Research, 2005). Technology continues to provide comfort and accessibility to information and use of portable or mobile devices (Educause Center for Applied Research, 2005). Batteries are one of the important innovations that continue to impact people’s daily lives (Educause Center for Applied Research, 2005). One of the modern developments in the discovery of batteries is the rechargeable battery, which provided opportunity to convert chemical energy directly into electrical energy (Recharge, 2012). There are different types of rechargeable batteries (Recharge, 2012). However, lithium-ion technology is one of the rechargeable batteries that contains the highest energy density, and provides electrical power to different mechanical equipment and technological devices (Recharge, 2012). This includes the use of rechargeable batters to support mobile communication, laptop and tablets, cordless power tools, health and hospital machines, electric vehicles for individual mobility, mass transportation, solar and wind power, and many more (Recharge, 2012).
Batteries provided different significant contributions to society, including the use of batteries to support a variety of technologies to enhance students’ educational experiences (Educause Center for Applied Research, 2005). One of the most significant contributions of the concept of batteries is mobile technology for student learning and teaching (Educause Center for Applied Research, 2005). The contemporary progress of batteries provides access to mobile technologies that many schools use to communicate ideas, collaborate best practices, and create new ideas for more relevant and meaningful learning experiences (Educause Center for Applied Research, 2005). With the existence of smaller mobile technologies, students are able to access online information at the tips of their fingers; share and collaborate with fellow students anytime, anywhere; conduct virtual conferencing through the use of web 2.0 technologies; enable online or virtual chatting; send text messages or email messages, and be part of social networks for both personal and educational purposes (Educause Center for Applied Research, 2005). These activities may not have been possible without the initial development and creation of batteries to support and sustain the electrical power that is constantly required to operate mobile technologies (Recharge, 2012). Batteries opened the doors to enormous and endless possibilities that continue to occur as humankind embark to discover and explore future inventions for progressive civilization (Recharge, 2012).
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