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ERIC Number: EJ954547
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Feb
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 57
ISSN: ISSN-0926-7220
Reconstructing Iconic Experiments in Electrochemistry: Experiences from a History of Science Course
Eggen, Per-Odd; Kvittingen, Lise; Lykknes, Annette; Wittje, Roland
Science & Education, v21 n2 p179-189 Feb 2012
The decomposition of water by electricity, and the voltaic pile as a means of generating electricity, have both held an iconic status in the history of science as well as in the history of science teaching. These experiments featured in chemistry and physics textbooks, as well as in classroom teaching, throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This paper deals with our experiences in restaging the decomposition of water as part of a history of science course at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway. For the experiment we used an apparatus from our historical teaching collection and built a replica of a voltaic pile. We also traced the uses and meanings of decomposition of water within science and science teaching in schools and higher education in local institutions. Building the pile, and carrying out the experiments, held a few surprises that we did not anticipate through our study of written sources. The exercise gave us valuable insight into the nature of the devices and the experiment, and our students appreciated an experience of a different kind in a history of science course. (Contains 2 figures and 8 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Norway