Sunday, 11 January 2009
A battery is a perfect example of a direct current power supply. Batteries have three parts, an anode (-), a cathode (+), and the electrolyte. Alkaline batteries are the ones you normally find around your household. In this case, zinc is the anode, or the electrode that becomes negatively charged due to the electrolyte. Manganese dioxide is the cathode, or the electrode that becomes positively charged. The electrolyte (providing the ion transport mechanism between the anode and cathode) of an alkaline cell is a strong alkali solution of potassium hydroxide.
It is supposed that the chemical reactions in the battery cause a build-up of electrons at the anode. This then results in an electrical difference between the anode to the cathode within the battery. Apparently, the electrolyte keeps the electrons from going straight from the anode to the cathode within the battery. If you connect a wire between the negative and positive terminals, the electrons will flow from the negative to the positive terminal as fast as they can. Normally, you connect some type of load to the battery using a length of wire. The load might be something like a light bulb, a motor, or an electronic circuit like a radio. Unless electrons are flowing from the negative to the positive terminal - the chemical reaction does not take place. Once you connect a wire, the reaction starts.
I am struggling with the above idea of how a battery works. For a start, I don't follow the assumption that electrons flow from the negative to the positive terminal (I don't even follow electrons). As discussed in previous posts, I am far more inclined to believe that electrical energy travels from each terminal simultaneously - not simply from the negative to positive terminals, but also from the positive to negative terminals. Hereby, electricity starts to take on the appearance of a double helix.
The electrodes of a battery are dissimilar metals which induce a chemical reaction. Current theory is that the electrolyte allows ions to move between the electrodes. Outside the cell they can be connected by a circuit through which electrons will flow, but inside the cell, the electrolyte keeps the electrons from going straight from the anode to the cathode. (To make this a little more confusing, I also read somewhere else that electrons in a circuit flow from the cathode through the electrolyte to the anode). It's here I hope to unmuddy the waters a bit. Sure, we have a chemical reaction, but it's far more likely that the reaction is not seperating the charges in the electrodes - but rather in the electrolyte? This would then explain why electrical energy does not travel inside the cell from anode to cathode.
The anode and cathode are reacting with each other in such a way as to force charges in the electrolyte to seperate. These seperated charges produce an electromagnetic force we know as electricity. Electricity is popularily known as the flow of electrical charge. The flow of charge is called the current. A DC circuit is also known as a uni-directional flow of electrical charge - but what exactly is moving? There are no vibrating charges in the conductor of a DC circuit (as found in an AC circuit) - all the vibrations appear to take place inside the battery.
In a DC circuit (and very possibly an AC circuit), I wonder if charges are flowing at all. I think it is the magnetic force that is flowing. A force which is created by the division of electromagnetic radiation inside the battery. In my world, electromagnetic radiation is a double helix - one side of the helix constitutes a positive charge and the other a negative charge. The charges are in a constant spin of attraction for one another. If we seperate the charges of the helix, we reveal the electromagnetic force which ties them together. It is supposed there is no such thing as as a monopole. When a battery seperates the charges, is it possible that batteries are creating monopoles?
The frequency of a DC circuit is supposedly zero. But what of the frequency inside the battery? Maybe there are many lessons to be learnt about the vibrational qualities of the electrodes upon the electrolyte. These vibrations, or frequencies, could be manipulated to seperate charges on a much grander scale.