Saturday, May 29, 2010

Demonic Orange

So, yesterday was an interesting day in AP Chem. We're done with all our learning for the year; the AP exam was three weeks ago and our last test was Monday. So, for the last 2 weeks of the year, we're doing some of the labs that we didn't have time for before the AP exam.

Yesterday, we did a lab with electrochemistry: fruit batteries. We were given strips of iron, copper, zinc, aluminum, brass, and lead; 3 oranges; and 1 lemon per group, plus our usual lab setup of a laptop with graphic program and a voltmeter interface.

After a little bit of data-taking, we found our answers. Two orange batteries of copper/zinc, one orange battery of aluminum/brass, and one lemon battery of aluminum/brass generated 2.78 volts - twice as high as any other group came. We believe this solution is more or less optimized given the available materials and limitations (no more than two electrodes per metal).

Then, we had extra time. A few of us got hold of a plastic knife (normally used to slit the fruits to insert electrodes) and went to town on the oranges. Here's my contribution, a positively demonic shrunken head / orange-o-lantern:

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