Gadget Savvy: Batteries Quiz

Estimated Completion Time
1 min
Gadget Savvy:  Batteries Quiz

About This Quiz

You can find batteries under the hood of your car, inside a TV remote -- even within hearing aids. Batteries were invented nearly two centuries ago, and they keep getting more sophisticated. But how well do you know what's at work inside these cans of chemicals?
At its most basic level, a battery is a can full of chemicals that produces ____.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

From the batteries in our cars to the batteries in our flashlights and laptop computers, they're all essentially cans of chemicals that produce electricity in a process called electrochemical reactions.

The areas of a battery that are marked positive (+) and negative (-) are called:
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

A battery is marked positive and negative at its two terminals. In a small battery (like an AA, C or D), these are just the opposite ends, while in a larger battery (like a car battery), the terminals are two heavy lead posts.

In which direction must electrons within a battery flow for a chemical reaction to take place?
positive to negative
negative to positive
either direction
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

For a chemical reaction to occur within the battery, electrons must flow from the negative to the positive terminal. The reaction doesn't start until you plug the battery in to make a circuit.


In 1800, Alessandro Volta made the first battery by layering plates of silver and zinc with blotting paper that had been soaked in salt water. What was this primitive battery called?
voltaic pile
Volta stack
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The very first battery was called a voltaic pile. Each layer in the pile increased the battery's voltage.

Which of the following names is not used interchangeably with Daniel cell, the 17th-century battery commonly used in telegraphs and doorbells?
gravity cell
wet cell
charged cell
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The Daniel cell is also known as the gravity cell, wet cell and crowfoot cell. It's made from copper and zinc plates and copper and zinc sulfates.

What kind of battery has a reversible reaction?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

A lead-acid battery, like the kind you find in your car, has a reversible reaction.


What type of battery contains zinc and manganese-oxide electrodes with an alkaline electrolyte?
zinc-mercury oxide
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

An alkaline battery contains zinc and manganese-oxide electrodes, and it relies on alkaline chemistry to create its charge.

When was the prototype for the rechargeable battery invented?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

In 1859, a French physicist named Gaston Plante created the lead acid cell. It later became the world's first rechargeable battery.

Nickel-cadium batteries can malfunction when they're overcharged -- that is, recharged before they've had a chance to discharge more than 50 percent of their power. What's this common problem called?
charge maximization
memory effect
surplus condition
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

When a nickel-cadium battery is recharged before it discharges the majority of its power, it essentially "forgets" that it could fully discharge to begin with. This problem is termed the memory effect. You can avoid the memory effect by allowing the battery to fully discharge once every two to three weeks and then recharging it.


Which of the following is not a type of battery arrangement?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Batteries are formed in parallel or serial arrangements. Their arrangements influence the amount of voltage they can produce.

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