Battery

Battery

[bat-uh-ree]
Battery, the, park, 21 acres (8.5 hectares), southern tip of Manhattan island, New York City; site of former Dutch and English fortifications. Castle Clinton, a fort built in 1808 for the defense of New York harbor, was ceded to the city in 1823 and renamed Castle Garden. It was remodeled and served as a noted amusement hall and opera house; Swedish soprano Jenny Lind made her U.S. debut on its stage in 1850. From 1855 to 1892 it served as the main immigration station for New York City, and from 1896 to 1941 it housed an aquarium. After World War II the park was remodeled, and Castle Clinton became a national monument (see National Parks and Monuments, table). The park also contains a war memorial and a statue of Giovanni da Verrazano, the first European to enter New York harbor. Boats to Liberty Island and Ellis Island leave from the park. New residential communities, such as Battery Park City, are developing in the area around the park.
battery, in criminal and tort law, the unpermitted touching of any part of the person of another, or of anything worn, carried by, or intimately associated at that moment (as a chair being sat on) with another. Contact must be intended by the aggressor, must be reasonably considered offensive, and must be without consent by the one affected. (Consent is assumed for the ordinary and customary contacts of everyday life.) Gross negligence may provide the intent necessary to constitute a battery. Actual physical injuries need not be sustained by the victim; thus a doctor who performs an operation without consent can be sued for battery, even though the patient is benefited by the operation. The term "assault and battery" refers to a crime, the unlawful touching of another as the consummation of an assault.
battery, electric, device that converts chemical energy into electrical energy, consisting of a group of electric cells that are connected to act as a source of direct current. The term is also now commonly used for a single cell, such as the alkaline dry cell used in flashlights and portable tape players, but strictly speaking batteries are made up of connected cells encased in a container and fitted with terminals to provide a source of direct electric current at a given voltage. A cell consists of two dissimilar substances, a positive electrode and a negative electrode, that conduct electricity, and a third substance, an electrolyte, that acts chemically on the electrodes. The two electrodes are connected by an external circuit (e.g., a piece of copper wire); the electrolyte functions as an ionic conductor for the transfer of the electrons between the electrodes. The voltage, or electromotive force, depends on the chemical properties of the substances used, but is not affected by the size of the electrodes or the amount of electrolyte.

Batteries are classed as either dry cell or wet cell. In a dry cell the electrolyte is absorbed in a porous medium, or is otherwise restrained from flowing. In a wet cell the electrolyte is in liquid form and free to flow and move. Batteries also can be generally divided into two main types—rechargeable and nonrechargeable, or disposable. Disposable batteries, also called primary cells, can be used until the chemical changes that induce the electrical current supply are complete, at which point the battery is discarded. Disposible batteries are most commonly used in smaller, portable devices that are only used intermittently or at a large distance from an alternative power source or have a low current drain. Rechargeable batteries, also called secondary cells, can be reused after being drained. This is done by applying an external electrical current, which causes the chemical changes that occur in use to be reversed. The external devices that supply the appropriate current are called chargers or rechargers.

A battery called the storage battery is generally of the wet-cell type; i.e., it uses a liquid electrolyte and can be recharged many times. The storage battery consists of several cells connected in series. Each cell contains a number of alternately positive and negative plates separated by the liquid electrolyte. The positive plates of the cell are connected to form the positive electrode; similarly, the negative plates form the negative electrode. In the process of charging, the cell is made to operate in reverse of its discharging operation; i.e., current is forced through the cell in the opposite direction, causing the reverse of the chemical reaction that ordinarily takes place during discharge, so that electrical energy is converted into stored chemical energy. The storage battery's greatest use has been in the automobile where it was used to start the internal-combustion engine. Improvements in battery technology have resulted in vehicles—some in commercial use—in which the battery system supplies power to electric drive motors instead.

Batteries are made of a wide variety of electrodes and electrolytes to serve a wide variety of uses. Batteries consisting of carbon-zinc dry cells connected in various ways (as well as batteries consisting of other types of dry cells) are used to power such devices as flashlights, lanterns, and pocket-sized radios and CD players. Alkaline dry cells are an efficient battery type that is both economical and reliable. In alkaline batteries, the hydrous alkaline solution is used as an electrolyte; the dry cell lasts much longer as the zinc anode corrodes less rapidly under basic conditions than under acidic conditions. In the United States the lead storage battery is commonly used. A more expensive type of lead-acid battery called a gel battery (or gel cell) contains a semisolid electrolyte to prevent spillage. More portable rechargeable batteries include several dry-cell types, which are sealed units and are therefore useful in appliances like mobile phones and laptops. Cells of this type (in order of increasing power density and cost) include nickel-cadmium (nicad or NiCd), nickel metal hydride (NiMH), and lithium-ion (Li-Ion) cells.

There is evidence that primitive batteries were used in Iraq and Egypt as early as 200 B.C. for electroplating and precious metal gilding. In 1748, Benjamin Franklin coined the term battery to describe an array of charged glass plates. However, most historians date the invention of batteries to about 1800 when experiments by Alessandro Volta resulted in the generation of electrical current from chemical reactions between dissimilar metals. Experiments with different combinations of metals and electrolytes continued over the next 60 years. In the 1860s, Georges Leclanche of France developed a carbon-zinc wet cell; nonrechargeable, it was rugged, manufactured easily, and had a reasonable shelf life. Also in the 1860s, Raymond Gaston Plant invented the lead-acid battery. It had a short shelf life, and about 1881 Émile Alphonse Faure developed batteries using a mixture of lead oxides for the positive plate electrolyte with faster reactions and higher efficiency. In 1900, Thomas Alva Edison developed the nickel storage battery, and in 1905 the nickel-iron battery. During World War II the mercury cell was produced. The small alkaline battery was introduced in 1949. In the 1950s the improved alkaline-manganese battery was developed. In 1954 the first solar battery or solar cell was introduced, and in 1956 the hydrogen-oxygen fuel cell was introduced. The 1960s saw the invention of the gel-type electrolyte lead-acid battery. Lithium-ion batteries, wafer thin and powering portable computers, cell phones, and space probes were introduced in the 1990s. Computer chips and sensors now help prolong battery life and speed the charging cycle. Sensors monitor the temperature inside a battery as chemical reactions during the recharging cause it to heat up; microchips control the power flow during recharging so that current flows in rapidly when the batteries are drained and then increasingly slowly as the batteries become fully charged. Another source of technical progress is nanotechnology; research indicates that batteries employing carbon nanotubes will have twice the life of traditional batteries.

See also electric circuit; fuel cell; solar cell.

The sodium-sulfur (NaS) battery, patented in 1965 by the Ford Motor Company, has been used in some elipsis

Any of a class of devices, consisting of a group of electrochemical cells (see electrochemistry), that convert chemical energy into electrical energy; the term is also commonly applied to a single cell of this kind. A wet cell (e.g., a car battery) contains free liquid electrolyte; in a dry cell (e.g., a flashlight battery) the electrolyte is held in an absorbent material. Chemicals are arranged so that electrons released from the battery's negative electrode flow (see electric current) through a circuit outside the battery (in the device powered by it) to the battery's positive electrode. The battery's voltage depends on the chemicals used and the number of cells (in series); the current depends on the resistance in the total circuit (including the battery—and thus on electrode size). Multiple batteries may be connected in series (the positive electrode of one to the negative electrode of the next), which increases total voltage, or in parallel (positive to positive and negative to negative), which increases total current. Batteries that are not rechargeable include standard dry cells used in flashlights and certain wet cells for marine, mine, highway, and military use. Car batteries, many kinds of dry cells used in cordless appliances, and batteries for certain military and aerospace uses may be recharged repeatedly.

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Related but distinct crimes. Battery is the unlawful application of physical force to another; assault is an attempt to commit battery or an act that may reasonably cause fear of imminent battery. With manslaughter and murder (see homicide), these concepts are articulated to protect against rude and undesired physical contact or the threat of it. Battery requires no minimum degree of force, nor does it need to be applied directly; administering poison and transmitting a disease may both be battery. Accidents and ordinary negligence are not, nor is reasonable force used in the performance of duty (e.g., by a police officer). Seealso rape.

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Etymology

"Battery" is derived from French batterie, from the verb French battre, Late Latin battuere = "to beat", of Germanic origin, compare Anglo-Saxon bēatan. Many of its modern uses arose as generalisations of the meaning artillery battery.

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