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|How Our Lamp Works
Before going any further we should point out a slight but very common mistake most of us make in using the word battery. The so-called flashlight battery, for example, is really not a battery. It is a cell, commonly known as a dry cell (although it does contain a moist mixture). On the other hand, the automobile storage battery is a battery. Thatís because it houses several cells (wet cells, in this case) connected inter- nally. A battery, then, is a group of two or more cells, wet or dry, connected as one unit. But habits are hard to break, and we still find ourselves calling the cell a battery.
All electrical cells consist of an electrolyte (a conducting solution or paste) and two electrodes. The wet-cell lamp youíre going to make uses ammonium chloride, also called sal ammoniac, as the electrolyte. Zinc is one electrode, and carbon (including the black mixture around the carbon) is the other electrode.