Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Baghdad Battery (A True Story)

In 1936, while excavating the ruins of a 2000 year old village near Baghdad, archeologists discovered a mysterious clay pot. Inside the pot was a copper cylinder soldered with a lead-tin alloy and an iron rod suspended in the center, which showed signs of having been corroded by an acidic agent. This mysterious pot dated back to the early AD period but was almost identical in design to the electric battery which was invented by Alessandro Volta in 1799.

How is it possible that a complex battery was built in ancient Sumeria some 1,800 years before such a battery was invented?

Well perhaps someone living after 1799 traveled back in time and for some reason needed to make a battery (maybe in order to power their return trip). A person who has mastered time travel would surely have known about Volta's battery and would have known it was one of the easiest batteries to create in such a primitive setting. And perhaps the battery was left behind when the time traveler returned to his or her origin in the space time continuum.

It's an interesting idea at least.


Matsby said...

I have edited the post. Apparently some people took me quite seriously when I said "what? Do you need more proof than that???"

Don't worry I am not so ignorant as to think the fantastic idea I came up with is the the actual explanation. In fact this is a blog where I often mix real physics with science-fiction, seriousness with fun.

To avoid any further misunderstanding in this case, the last line was changed to say "It's an interesting idea at least".

Robert Vollman said...

The time traveler who left the battery behind went BEFORE 1936.

If the time traveler went after 1936, he would be aware that his battery was discovered, and so he'd go back to dispose of it properly.

However, if the time traveler went before 1936 (when the battery was discovered), he'd never have known that he had left the battery behind, and therefore would not have gone back to retrieve it.

CL Fagan said...

Yes, I beleive you might have hit on the idea that a time-traveler would have needed a battery return to his own time. I also enjoyed the comment that had he known
about it he would have traveled back to retrieve it. But then again, perhaps he had to leave it behind or our future would have changed and we would not have this mystery to discuss.

I have been studying time travel for awhile and have even written a time travel novel with a great of true, history and wit in it. And a discussion of time travel by Ben Franklin.
By the way, it was Benjamin Franklin who built the first working battery in 1752.

Matsby said...

That book looks interesting, Ms. Fagan. A time traveler visits the colonies. Something like that would have made history more enjoyable for me when I was in junior high.

Thanks for the heads up.

Toshiba Laptop Battery said...

The Baghdad Battery is one of the most controversial issues that history has, and for it to have been a battery from over 1,000 years ago, would be no different than the Sumerians knowing about all the 9 planets before the "Common Era" did.

tom said...

Interesting. But consider..the screw driver was 'patented' 2300 years after the oldest screw was used in home construction. Sometimes a novel idea just isn't picked up by any inventor's contemporaries?