The coin battery experiment : Fizzics Education


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The coin battery experiment

The coin battery experiment

Follow FizzicsEd 150 Science Experiments:

You will need:

  • One bowl of vinegar
  • Nineteen strips of paper, 3cm square in size
  • Ten ‘silver’ coins…it’s not really silver, it’s mainly Zinc
  • Ten copper coins
  • A test subject!
  • Vinegar


The Coin Battery Experiment Science Experiment - setup_materials
1 The Coin Battery Experiment Science Experiment - soaking paper in vinegar

Moisten the strips of paper in the vinegar

2 The Coin Battery Experiment Science Experiment - vinegar-soaked paper in between silver and nickel coins

Stack together a column of coins and vinegar soaked paper, alternating between each material in the following order; copper coin, paper and silver coin.

3 The Coin Battery Experiment Science Experiment - getting zapped by coin battery

Moisten your fingertips in vinegar.

Hold the column, on its ends, between your vinegar soaked fingers.

Feel a buzz?

4 A man placing his hand on a plasma globe. Energy is streaming out of the tesla coil towards his fingers

Get the Electricity & Magnetism Unit of Work here!

  • How does electricity actually flow?
  • What makes magnets become magnetic?
  • Why is there electromagnetism and what does this tell us about electricity & magnetism?
  • From series & parallel circuits to conductors & insulators, there’s a lot to explore & learn!

Includes cross-curricular teaching ideas, student quizzes, a sample marking rubric, scope & sequences & more.

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5 A person using a van de graf generator with blue plastic hair rising upwards off a stick
6 Teacher showing how to do an experiment outside to a group of kids.

Online courses for teachers & parents

– Help students learn how science really works

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Why Does This Happen?

You just made a wet cell battery. A battery usually contains two types of metals separated by an acid. A chemical reaction between the two metals produces an electric current that continues until one of the metals is used up.

Idea: Use a multimeter to measure the current or voltage produced!


You can find wet cell batteries in cars. But don’t experiment with them, the electricity within a car battery can be very dangerous.

Variables to test

More on variables here

  • Which combination of coins produces the biggest buzz?
  • Try lemon juice as the acid instead of the vinegar. Does this make a difference?
  • Try squares of filter paper, baby wipes, dishcloth or similar between the coins. Does this make a difference?

A man with a glove above a liquid nitrogen vapour cloud

Learn More!


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