The Challenge: Recharge a Battery
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How does a battery
Every atom consists
of a positively charged nucleus called a proton surrounded by a number
of smaller, negatively charged particles called electrons. If atoms lose
or gain electrons, they are left with a positive or negative charge and
they are then called ions. In an electrically conducting solid such as a
wire, some of the negatively charged electrons are able to move around
fairly freely around the fixed array of positively charged protons. Although
these 'free' electrons can move, there is a
which keeps the electrons and so the charge evenly spread along the
length of the wire.
If all the electrons
are concentrated at one end of the wire they would want to rush back to
cancel out the charge imbalance. In doing so they would create an electric
current for a very short time.
conductor in its natural state negative electrons (blue) and positive
ions (red) evenly distributed along its length.
The same conductor
in a state of imbalance where all the negative particles (blue) have been
forced to one end.
An electron "pump"