Frog Battery

It was used in early scientific investigations of electricity and academic demonstrations.The principle behind the battery is the injury potential created in a muscle when it is damaged.The frog battery is an example of a class of bio-batteries which can be made from any number of animals.

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Detailed Description for Frog Battery

      A frog battery is an electrochemical battery consisting of a number of dead frogs (or sometimes live ones), which form thecells of the battery connected in a series arrangement. It is a kind of biobattery. It was used in early scientific investigations of electricity and academic demonstrations.

     The principle behind the battery is the injury potential created in a muscle when it is damaged, although this was not fully understood in the 18th and 19th centuries; the potential being caused incidentally due to the dissection of the frog's muscles.

      The frog battery is an example of a class of biobatteries which can be made from any number of animals. The general term for an example of this class is the muscular pile.

      It was usual to use the thighs of frogs for the battery construction. The legs of the frog were first skinned, then the lower leg was cut off at the knee joint and discarded. Damaging the muscle during this procedure would detract from the results. The thigh muscle was then cut in two transversely to produce two half-thighs. Only the lower, conical shaped piece was kept. The half-thighs were then laid on an insulator of varnished wood so arranged that the inside surface of one was in contact with the outside surface of the next, with the conical ends of the outside surface being pushed into the cavity of the cut surface. The ends of the pile were placed in cups of water sunk into the wood and formed the terminals of the battery.

          

 

 

 

   

 

      The arrangement of inside surface connected to outside surface was on the basis of the incorrect theory that there was an electric current in muscles continually flowing from the inside to the outside. It is now known that the half-thighs were more successful at generating electricity because they had suffered the greatest injury to the muscle. This effect of increased electric potential due to injury is known as demarcation potential or injury potential.

   Other constructions could also be used. For instance the complete rear legs could be used with the sciatic nerves exposed so that the nerve of one frog could be connected to the feet of the next. Whole frogs too could be used. Although it was more time consuming to prepare the thigh muscles, most experimenters preferred to do this since it gave better results.

 


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