Volta’s battery or Volta’s cell


1. A scissor
2. Some coffee filters
3. Some lemon juice
4. Ten pennies or ten pieces of copper metals
5. Ten nickels or ten pieces of nickel metals
6. Copper wire (Can be obtained from any hardware or electronic store)
7. Four alligator clips (Can be obtained from any hardware or electronic store)
8. A flashlight bulb or a LED (Light Emitting Diode) light (Can be obtained from any hardware or electronic store)


1. At first cut the coffee filters into small pieces just a little bit bigger than a nickel. Give the coffee filters square shape or round shape.
2. Now using lemon juice soak those coffee filters.
3. Now stack the Nickels, pennies and the coffee filters together. Stack them like so that nickel will be on the top, under which will be pennies and under the pennies there would be the coffee filter or filter paper. The whole stack will be aligned in the same way. In this alignment ultimately the nickel or the nickel piece will be at the top of the stack and the coffee filter or the filter paper will be at the bottom of the stack.
4. Connect both end of each wire with an alligator clip.
5. Now using alligator clips attach one end of a wire to the topmost coin of the stack made by you with nickel, pennies and tea filters.
6. Attach one end of another wire with the most bottom coin of the stack using the alligator clips.
7. After that, carefully touch or connect other ends of both of the wires to a small flashlight bulb or a LED (Light Emitting Diode) light.
8. Observe what happens.


When you touch or connect the wires using the alligator clips to the flashlight bulb or LED (Light Emitting Diode) light it should light up.


In this experiment electrons actually flow through the voltaic pile or the Volta’s pile which is the stack made by you using nickel, pennies and tea filters or paper filters. The two different coins act as electrodes. The lemon juice acts as an electrolytic solution which conducts electrons. The flow of electrons among the coins through the lemon juice/the electrolytic juice/the conductive juice creates a difference in electrical potential between the two types of metal. This difference is called voltage. When the circuit is completed with the conductive copper wire and the flashlight bulb or the LED (Light Emitting Diode) light electricity or more specifically electrons flow through the voltaic pile or the Volta’s pile and lights the bulb or LED (Light Emitting Diode) light. The more layers you have in your voltaic pile or Volta’s pile the greater the difference in electrical potential between the top and bottom of the pile/stack and greater the voltage will be.


In the year 1800 a scientist named Alexandra Volta showed that electricity could be produced through a chemical reaction. The voltaic pile which was invented by him was able to produce a steady stream of electricity in a very simple way. The experiment which is described here is actually a simplified version of Volta’s famous breakthrough that led to the creation of modern batteries. Actually Volta did this almost same experiment with zinc and silver disks. He used salt water as electrolyte. Using these he was able to invent world’s first battery that could actually deliver a sustained electric charge.


1. Use different kinds of and different combinations of coins such as dimes and quarters (Simply use coins made with different metals).
2. Use alternative strips of aluminum foil and steel.
3. Use a voltmeter to measure and compare the amount of electricity different combinations of coins or metals produced.
4. Try this experiment by using dry coffee filters or filter papers.


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