- A lemon (Try a fruit shop!)
- An american penny or something made with copper (Maybe a bank!)
- A knife
- Alligator clips
- A galvanized or zinc coated nail or something made with zinc
- Copper wire or any kind of good conducting wire
- A small electric bulb
(Rest of the materials can be found in a hardware shop)
- At first mash up the inside of the lemon without breaking its outer shell.
- Cut a bit of the mashed lemon with the knife so that you can stick the american penny or the copper object into the lemon.
- Also stick the galvanized nail in the lemon and make sure that the coin and nail do not touch each other.
- Now touch the penny and the galvanized nail to your tongue at the same time.
- Attach one piece of copper wire with the penny and another piece of copper wire with the galvanized nail using the alligator clips.
- After all that, finally connect both of the wires to a small electric bulb and this way you get your lemon circuit!
- When you touch the penny and the galvanized nail to your tongue at the same time, you should feel a little bit tingle on your tongu.
- After you connect the wires with the bulb, it should light .
A current is produced when electrons flow from one electrode to another through a medium or a conductor. In this particular experiment which is A lemon is a battery !!! (An alternative power source!), the penny and the galvanized nail both act as electrodes. The copper wire which is connecting everything in the lemon circuit, is also a conductor. The lemon finish the circuit keeping the two electrodes apart. Actually the juice inside the lemon acts as the conducting fluid. This is known as the electrolyte. When you put this circuit together, you actually start a chemical reaction inside the lemon. in this reaction, one of the electrodes loses electrons and the other one gains the lost electrons. This produces the electric current which lights up the electric bulb.
In a normal battery, electrons flow from one electrode to another. Therefore, the two electrodes have to differ from each other. One of the electrodes is called cathode and the other one is called anode. The difference between cathode and anode is - the metal at the anode losses electrons while the metal at the cathode gains electrons. The chemical reaction that occurs at the anode is called oxidation reaction. The chemical reaction that occurs at the cathode is called reduction reaction. In the lemon battery, the penny is the cathode and the galvanized nail is the anode. The acid found in the lemon juice is very important to create the battery. The acid in the lemon juice is able to react with active metals such as zinc in the galvanized nail. This reaction causes the zinc to lose electrons. The transfer of electrons is needed for creating electric current or electricity.
There might be some small bubbles near the place where the nail was sticked into the lemon. These are actually bubbles of hydrogen gas. It's produced when hydrogen ions in the lemon juice react with the electrons lost by zinc.
OTHER EXPERIMENTS FOR YOU :
- Use a few lemons together to see if you can light a more powerful bulb.
- Use other fruits and vegetables like orange and potetoe in this experiment .
- Use other kinds of foods such as eggs (boiled, unboiled etc.), bread, green