Which is first voltage or current

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Milestones in science and technology

  • Volta's column is the prototype of the battery; Rights: AKG

Volta also found that the electrical effect increased if he additionally moistened the metal plates with an acid. Volta therefore distinguishes first-class conductors, the metals, from second-class conductors: liquids that are electrically conductive - electrolytes. The charge carriers in them are not electrons, as in metals, but ions: electrically charged particles. A freshly skinned frog's leg is therefore nothing more than a second-class ladder. That’s the theory. However, Alessandro Volta became world famous mainly because he converted his findings into a practical invention that will revolutionize research into electricity: the "Volta column".

Volta had recognized that electrical voltage is created when two damp plates of different metals are placed on top of one another. What he does now is as follows: between glass rods he always layers a zinc disc, a cardboard dipped in acid and a copper disc on top. This "galvanic cell" produces an electrical voltage: the zinc disc releases electrons - an excess of electrons is created and thus a negative charge. Copper takes electrons from zinc, creating a lack of electrons and a positive charge. If you connect the plus and minus poles with a cable, electricity flows. If you stack many of these electrical cells on top of one another, the voltages add up to a total voltage. The voltage indicates how strong the drive of the electric current is between two points in the circuit. Volta invented the principle of the battery: the chemical generation of electricity.