The Heavens Declare His Handiwork

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Thomas Lee Abshier, ND

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Batteries & E Field Generation

By: Thomas Lee Abshier, ND

§ An E field is generated by batteries composed of two dissimilar metal electrodes immersed in an electrolyte solution such as salt, Lead Sulfate, acid and alkaline solutions, etc.  

§ The difference in bonding potentials of the metal to their electrons provides the electromotive force for the movement of electrons.  

§ This configuration of separated charges (+ and – separated by a distance) produces an E field between the two charges, and is known as “Electric Potential” or Voltage.

o Static electrical potential energy is two regions of opposing charge separated by a space.  Examples of this configuration include:

§ A charged capacitor, having a plate containing positive charges separated from a plate containing negative charges, with a space between the two known as a dielectric.  

o Accumulating negative charge on the negative side of the capacitor, and positive charge on the positive side of the capacitor will produce a back EMF, a reverse voltage, a voltage opposing the battery, thus stopping further current flow.

o But, when there is a dielectric material in the space between the capacitor plates, a larger charge can accumulate on the plates than the amount that would be expected to produce the backwards voltage to equal the voltage supplied by the voltage source.

o Thus, capacitors have a greater or lesser ability (capacity) to store charge for a given area of plate, and given distance between plates.

o The worst dielectric is vacuum, free space, and it is the capacitance/meter that we refer to it as the e of space.  The fact that space has a unit of capacitance, in Farads/m does not prove that space is filled with dipoles that oppose the voltage impressed upon the plates of a capacitor.  But, this data does provide the final point on the graph of the spectrum of dielectric strength, and hence shows that space is at least on the continuum of all dielectrics.

o The charge difference/separation on a capacitor can be saved and stored as an isolated circuit element.

o In other words, capacitors can accumulate even more charge on the capacitor plates for a given voltage impressed on the capacitor.

o The point being that E fields form between regions of separated charge.  A capacitor is a very pure example of a phenomenon which represents and uses the principles of E field and charge separation.

§ A battery is a commonly used item that generates an E field potential by exploiting a type of charge separation that exists in neutral metallic substances.  The battery operates on the principle that the difference in attraction of metal atoms to their conduction zone electrons, produces an E field between atoms of this electron-attraction disparity.  The configuration of the battery capitalizes on this E Field differential and creates a system that allows electrons to flow on a continual basis by removing/neutralizing any electrons that might flow from the region of excess (less attracted) electrons.

§ Lead-acid battery:

o e0 = 3.56 V

o The SO4-2 combines with the metallic Pb, and releases 2e-.  

o The extra electrons are then available for transport to the cathode and reaction at that terminal.

o e0 = 1.65 V

o The extra electrons from the anode (the Pb terminal) go to the cathode (the PbO2 terminal), and provide the electrons needed to release O-2 from the PbO2.  

o The 2O-2 combine with the 4H+, to make 2H2O.

o The SO4-2 then combines with the Pb to make PbSO4.  

§ In our current fossil fuel/nuclear economy we develop Electric potential by burning fuel, which produces heat, which creates steam to drive turbines, which turns magnetic fields through wires.

o The Electrical Potential will move charge in a manner proportional to the resistance between the terminals.

§ This relationship is known as Ohm’s law.

o V = Voltage, the Electric Potential difference between the terminals.  The unit of voltage is Joules/coulomb, which is a measure of energy per charge.  

o I = current; the rate at which charge flows from terminal to terminal.  The unit of current is the amp, or ampere = coulombs/sec.

o R = resistance; the amount of energy lost by the current/sec.  R = (Joules/coul)/(coul/sec)

§ Electric Potential may be converted into many other types of energy, such as: kinetic energy, heat, spring energy, energy stored in gravitational energy, magnetic energy, chemical energy stored as a battery, and EM radiation.