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Do dead batteries really bounce?

You’ve probably heard of the bounce test for dead batteries- simply drop a battery, and if it bounces, it’s dead. It turns out that this isn’t completely true. Conventional batteries have an outer layer made of zinc, which once hooked into a circuit, is slowly converted to zinc oxide, while releasing electrons and allowing them to flow, thereby creating electricity. Before a battery has been hooked into a circuit, the zinc molecules aren’t aligned in any particular way. This means that when dropped, these molecules can move slightly, and absorb the kinetic energy. However, once a circuit is made with the battery, the molecules are aligned, and the kinetic energy from a dropped battery can’t simply go into the molecules, but instead transfers into the bonds between molecules, causing a recoil, or bounce action. So while it’s true that dead batteries bounce, so do half full batteries, and even 99% full batteries. All this test can really tell you is whether a battery is brand new or not. 


@AdaMcVean

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