• Question: Can you explain how a potato clock works?

    Asked by JessGeek7 to Aimee, Gemma, Hussain, Robert, Ross on 17 Nov 2015.
    • Photo: Ross King

      Ross King answered on 17 Nov 2015:

      I can definitely try! I’ve never made one before…

      Basically, a potato clock is an electrochemical battery – this is where chemical energy is turned into electrical energy by the movement of electrons, which carry electrical charge. This electrical energy can then power the clock.

      The zinc nail that is inserted into the potato releases zinc ions into the potato. The copper wire that is inserted into the potato releases copper ions (electrically-charged atoms) into the potato. These two ions like to react with each other, but the potato is keeping them apart. The electrons then have to travel through the copper wire in order to react, as it is the path of least resistance.

      This movement of electrons then powers the clock.

      I hope this helps! Maybe Aimee might be able to help a bit more – she loves metals!

      Ross 🙂

    • Photo: Aimee Goodall

      Aimee Goodall answered on 18 Nov 2015:

      Ross is right, I do love metals! I also love all types of potatoes, especially mash!!

      I have never made a potato clock, but I found a video on youtube which tells you how, the guys voice is really boring, but the information is cool