How to Make a Volta Pile

Volta's Pile, also known as the Voltaic Pile,is invented by Alessendro Volta, and is the first electric cell invented.You can make a simpler version with zinc washers,cardboard and pennies.

Step 1: Stack Them Up.

Cut the cardboard into circles and wet them with salty water.

Stack a card circle on a zinc washer, then a penny on the card circle.Stack another card circle on the penny then a washer on top of it. Repeat the process until it is an inch tall.Make sure a penny is at the top of the stack.

Step 2: Connect the Wires

The penny at the top will be your positive electrode and the washer at the bottom will be your negative electrode.Connect a wire to each of the two electrodes.

Step 3: Try It Out.

Try making light by connecting an LED to the electrodes,try making a motor spin with it and try touching the electrode wires to your tongue.



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    5 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Pennies minted since 1983 are not copper. They are copper plated zinc. You can cut a penny open to verify this. The government had to stop making solid copper pennies to deter unscrupulous people from scrapping pennies for their copper content. Last I heard a copper penny was worth about 2.5 cents as scrap.

    2 replies

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    It will work as well as long as it have a copper covering.You can used pennies with the copper plating scraped off instead of the zinc washers.

    Well, I made a almost-saturated solution of salt and it worked.If you are still not sure,you can use lemon juice or vinegar instead.