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Battery short circuit

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by Spencer, Apr 26, 2004.

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  1. Spencer

    Spencer Guest

    Can anyone tell me what happens to a battery if it short circuits. I know
    that electrons move from the negative pole of the battery, through the
    circuit to the positive pole. Why does is go flat if a conductor is
    connected directly across the poles?


  2. Don Bruder

    Don Bruder Guest

    It takes energy (stored in the chemical bonds of the "filling") to push
    those electrons across the conductor. Same as it takes fuel to move a
    car. In the car, the energy comes from burning the fuel. In a battery,
    the energy comes from the electro-chemical reaction that takes place
    between the ingredients that make up the innards of the battery, and the
    "can", or the carbon rod, depending on type.

    Once all the chemicals in the battery have reacted with each other, the
    battery is dead. Just like an out-of-gas car.

    If you try this experiment (I'd advise against doing it in the house or
    in an area with much in the way of flammables. Or at all, for that
    matter... Lots of better ways to make dead batteries.) you'll probably
    notice that the wire you use to short the terminals together will get
    rather warm. Depending on the type and size battery you try this on,
    that could mean "warm to the touch", or (and this isn't exaggeration)
    the wire heating up enough to literally melt into a puddle of liquid
  3. Spencer

    Spencer Guest

    Thank you for the information Don.
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