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How does the baghdad battery works? Answered

Tags:battery

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Kiteman (author)2009-10-18

If they were batteries, they would have worked exactly the same way as modern batteries, but much less powerful (the only real electrolytes available then were vinegar and salt water).

It was thought that the artefacts were used to electroplate gold onto silver items, but has since been found that gold-plated objects found from the same era were plated with either mercury or "fire gilding".  Modern tests showed that electroplating one object consumed the charge of "many" Baghdad-style "batteries".

There is a possibility that the artefacts were electrical, discovered accidentally and then used by priests to give a "Holy Tingle" to worshippers (maybe when they touched a metal statue).

The probability is that they were not batteries, since they were completely enclosed in insulating bitumen, and no traces of conducting wires have been found with them.  Instead, they were possibly storage jars, and the organic contents (scrolls etc) rotted away to leave a slightly acidic residue.

(Wikipedia is your friend)

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Molten Boron (author)Kiteman2009-10-20

"Wikipedia is your friend"
As long as you don't have an opinion.

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Kiteman (author)Molten Boron2009-10-21

Who needs opinions when we have the internet to tell us what we think?

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Molten Boron (author)Kiteman2009-10-21

Wikipedian zombies need them, but they don't know they need them.

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DELETED_afw11 (author)2009-10-17

Mythbusters (Discovery channel)  did a great episode on this. But, basically, copper and iron are special (they form an electrochemical couple) so in the presence of an electrolyte (think sports drinks) a voltage will be produced.

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acidbass (author)DELETED_afw112009-10-18

mythbusters is the best ever

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gearhead1951 (author)2009-10-18

th' iron oxide on th' iron bits was black ,  which has different properties to red oxide !  if you use a base instead of acid it works MUCH better and is at least as powerful as a carbon rod type aaa battery !  A small bank of these would most definitly give a "holy tingle" if not a knockout punch

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orksecurity (author)2009-10-17

Never heard of it. Have you tried a websearch?

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jtobako (author)orksecurity2009-10-17

Archeological possibility of 2000 or so year old battery that might have been used to electroplate with.

Google Image search is your friend : )

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