First you need to gather up all of the materials you will need. Below is a list of the following items needed to conduct this project:
- A DC microammeter – able to read 100 microamps
- An aluminum plate and a copper plate
- 2 electrical lead wires with alligator clips at both ends
Are you ready?
Let’s get started. First, you need to make sure that you have a flat wood or nonmetallic surface. Then set both of the metal plates on the surface that you’re going to use to conduct your experiment. Using the electrical lead wires with the alligator flips on both ends, connect the plates to the DC microammeter. Use one wire lead to connect one plate to the device (you need to attach the wire to one of the terminals) and use the other wire to connect the other plate. Place one hand on each of the plates and there should be a reading on the meter.
Did the meter show a reading? It should have. Can you figure out why? It’s actually very simple. Naturally, there is a thin layer of a sweat on a person’s hands. This moisture on your hands acts like the acid that’s inside a battery. So when you rest your hands on the metal plates, the sweat reacts with the copper and the aluminum. In one reaction, your hand will take negatively charged electrons away for the copper, while in another reaction, your other hand will give electrons to the aluminum. Negative electrons move through your body from the copper to the aluminum while positive ions move in the opposite direction.
There are a couple of other ideas that you could do to change up the project a little bit and see what happens. You could try using different metal plates or you could have one person put a hand on the copper plate while another person puts a hand on the aluminum plate. Then have those two people join hands and see what happens.