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Essay on History of Chemistry: Improvement in Battery Technology

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Through advancements in chemistry dating back to the 1700’s, the use of technology is more than the baby boomers could have dreamed of. Before the end of the 19th century, batteries were the main source of electricity. Improvements in battery technology made it possible for our generation to have computers, electric cars, alarm clocks, hand held devices, cell phones, and many other electrical devices.
Many electrical devices that we use today need a small amount of electricity to make them work. (1) They get it from a battery. Chemicals work together inside a battery to make electricity. The electricity travels through wires to make many of the electrical devices work. The battery stops working when the chemicals are used up. A flashlight bulb lights up when electricity from batteries pass through it. Cars, trucks, four-wheelers and boats all use batteries. Many things from electric cars to a simple wrist watch use a battery.
The first battery construction was described as: “place copper plated in an earthen pot, cover it with copper sulphate and wet saw dust. Spread Zinc powder and cover it with mercury. Due to chemical reaction a positive and negative charge is created. The water is decomposed into oxygen and hydrogen.” (2) This battery did not create very much voltage and certainly did not hold a charge for any length of time.
Although Benjamin Franklin did not construct the battery, he was the first person to use the term “battery” to describe a set of capacitors he used for electricity experiments. It was Alessandro Volta who invented the first true battery in 1800. (3) The battery was called the Voltaic Pile and had pairs of copper and zinc disc on top of each other, separated by a layer of cloth or car...


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...ty is a longer battery life for all life’s important devices. Tomorrow’s battery promises to be smaller and much more powerful, allowing us to operate super computers from the palm of our hand. (3) Everything and everyone revolves around technology today. In our not too distant future, all students in public schools will complete assignments, tests, and general schoolwork from a computer. Assignments completed on paper will be a distant memory and something our generation’s children will know nothing about. It is important that technology and the improvement of batteries continue to keep up with the way our society is headed. We will soon be a completely electronic society and batteries must support the future. There are many competing technologies that offer a wide variety of benefits and they will only continue to improve in our growing electronic society.



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