Volta's Battery

Volta's Battery

Experiment with a single cell measuring the voltage and current it produces with a multimeter. Change the liquid, pairs of metals, the depth of their immersion, and other parameters and select those that affect either current or voltage: these will be tested as variables. Decide on your procedure: what are you going to use as a measure of the battery's power (volta's expresssion): voltage, current or both? Then investigate each variable sseparately keeping everything else constant. Record your results.

Determine how many cells and what type you need to connect together to light a tiny incandescent lamp. Repeat the same with an LED. The latter experiment is a modern addition: an LED is an inexpensive and sensitive gauge for small currents.



Zn Electrodes

Fredk, Booth and Son 97361633

Cu Electrodes

Q-Stores 93187888



Lemon Juice


Plastic Cups


Conduit pipe

Hardware store

Cable and alligator clips

Jaycar or similar




  1. Cut Zinc and Copper Sheeting to suitably sized rectangular electrodes.
  2. Cut conduit pipe to small subsections to act as spacers between the electrodes to ensure the two plates do not touch one another.
  3. Place electrodes into cups separated by the spacers and join the plates in series.
  4. Connect to meter (copper plate to +ve terminal) and pour some lemon juice into each cup.
  5. You can then break the circuit to connect the led or if you prefer you can already have it in place.


Further Information




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