Shock Them All!
Want to shock your friends? You can do it by repeating an experiment first done by the Italian physicist Alessandro Volta 200 years ago.
9 1" x 1" strips of paper towel
(2.5 cm x 2.5 cm)
5 pennies or other copper coins
5 dimes (or any other coin that is not copper)
What to do:
Soak the paper towel strips in the lemon juice. Make a pile of coins, alternating dimes and pennies. Separate each one with a lemon soaked strip of paper towel. Moisten one finger tip on each hand and hold the pile between your fingers.
You get a small shock or tingle.
You have made a wet cell, the forerunner of the battery we buy at the hardware store. The lemon juice, an acid solution, conducts the electricity created by the separated metals of the two coins. What we call a battery is actually two or more dry cells. In each dry cell, 2 metals (a zinc metal container and a carbon rod) are separated by blotting paper soaked in a strong acid.
Be careful not to get the lemon juice or vinegar in your eyes, it will burn.