Definitions for voltaic pile

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Princeton's WordNet

  1. voltaic pile, pile, galvanic pile(noun)

    battery consisting of voltaic cells arranged in series; the earliest electric battery devised by Volta

Freebase

  1. Voltaic pile

    The voltaic pile was the first electrical battery that could continuously provide an electrical current to a circuit. It was invented by Alessandro Volta, who published his experiments in 1800. The voltaic pile then enabled a rapid series of discoveries including the electrical decomposition of water into oxygen and hydrogen by Nicholson and Carlisle and the discovery or isolation of the chemical elements sodium, potassium, calcium, boron, barium, strontium, and magnesium by Davy. The entire 19th century electrical industry was powered by batteries related to Volta's until the advent of the dynamo in the 1870s. Volta's invention built on Luigi Galvani's 1780s discovery of how a circuit of two metals and a frog's leg can cause the frog's leg to respond, Volta demonstrated in 1794 that when two metals and brine-soaked cloth or cardboard are arranged in a circuit they produce an electric current. In 1800, Volta stacked several pairs of alternating copper and zinc discs separated by cloth or cardboard soaked in brine to increase the electrolyte conductivity. When the top and bottom contacts were connected by a wire, an electric current flowed through the voltaic pile and the connecting wire.

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