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How does a battery work?

Batteries have three parts, an anode (-), a cathode (+), and the electrolyte. The cathode and anode (the positive and negative sides at either end of a traditional battery) are hooked up to an electrical circuit.

In the dry cell, Zinc is the anode (-), the graphite core is the cathode (+) and Ammonium Chloride paste acts as an electrode. Due to a chemical reaction within the battery the anode builds up an excess of electrons. This causes an electrical difference between the anode and the cathode. The electrons want to rearrange themselves and displace the extra electrons in the cathode. However, the electrolyte ensures the electrons cannot travel directly to the cathode.

When the circuit is closed (with the help of a “conductive path” between the anode and cathode), the electrons are able to travel to the cathode. This, in turn provides power to any appliance placed along the way. This is how batteries work.

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