The intent of this instructable is to provide ideas for experimenting with battery chemistry in general, and to summarize my experience producing a replica of what is often referred to as the Baghdad Battery
. In my version of a replica I argue the artifacts have been misinterpreted in replicas previously built by other investigators. The replica I've created yields not only a better performing cell (capable of 5x the capacity), but one that is rechargeable.
This is not a great cell, and our cars and homes will likely never employ the design, but it is curious that ~2000 years ago people may have been experimenting with electricity. What they were using this electricity for is subject to as much speculation as the actual construction of the "battery" (Perhaps it was not a battery, that is for you to decide).
To keep the interest of the reader and focus on the construction aspects of the replica I will try not to write too much about the history and interpretation by others of the artifacts. Several of the sources listed in Step 10 have already done a wonderful job discussing these details.A few notes:
>Several of the listed artifact photos were found on Wikipedia or widely used on the web, so I am assuming there are no copyright infringements.
>Since this is my first instructable, and it has been a while since I've had to explain anything to someone through writing, I welcome all criticism and suggestions for improvement.
>I would like to reference photos and figures inline with the text since I presume it would be easier for the reader to follow, but I am unsure if there is a way to do this through the instructable editor interface and wiki markup (?) - so for now I am just listing relevant images at the bottom of a step. Also, I'm unsure how to apply subscripts in the editor to write chemical formulas, I'd like to include the half cell reactions - otherwise I can take a screenshot and post it as an image.