If you’ve ever used a flashlight, or changed the channel with a remote control, if you’ve ever recharged your electric car, or if you’re reading this on a smart device, then you know how useful batteries can be. But how do batteries work?

In this TED Ed by Adam Jacobson, we travel back to the late 1700s where a professional disagreement between Luigi Galvani and Alessandro Volta eventually led Volta to invent an early version of an electric battery.

Of course, today you might know Volta’s name from the words volt and voltage. Galvani is also honored for his contributions.

Watch this next: Circuit Playground: B is for Battery.

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