Why Do Dead Alkaline Batteries Bounce?

Science Technology


If you’ve ever wondered what retired old men (I’d assume some of them are or were engineers, scientists, or science teachers) do when they’re not annoying their wives, apparently some of them go out to eat with the Romeo club (the video will explain). Lee Hite, one of the members, apparently also makes incredibly popular Youtube videos. The one below came from a discussion as to why good alkaline batteries don’t bounce, while bad batteries of this type do.

Admittedly, I’d never noticed this phenomena, but if you’re skeptical, the extremely good experimental setup in the video should be pretty convincing. Basically, a stand is set up where several batteries are dropped from the same height. The bad batteries bounce, while those that are still good definitely do not.

These self-proclaimed “old men” had two general theories on this, one was that the batteries were outgassing, thus affecting the way they bounced. The other idea was the idea that the good batteries were exhibiting something they referred to as “anti-bounce.” You may be more familiar with this as the same principle behind a dead blow hammer.

The results are closer to the second option, but check out the video below to see the explanation. This kind of setup would probably make an excellent science-fair project, or you could tuck it away for when you’re older and need to win the inevitable argument about why batteries bounce!

YouTube player

0 thoughts on “Why Do Dead Alkaline Batteries Bounce?

  1. dscotthep says:

    My 13 y.o. keeps stealing my dvm to check batteries, I think I’ll show him this and get my meter back for good!

    1. James Bryant says:

      You can buy him his own on eBay from China for under $4 postpaid.
      Then have him read this to learn some of the cool things he can do with it.


Discuss this article with the rest of the community on our Discord server!

Jeremy is an engineer with 10 years experience at his full-time profession, and has a BSME from Clemson University. Outside of work he’s an avid maker and experimenter, building anything that comes into his mind!

View more articles by Jeremy S Cook


Maker Faire Bay Area 2023 - Mare Island, CA

Escape to an island of imagination + innovation as Maker Faire Bay Area returns for its 15th iteration!

Buy Tickets today! SAVE 15% and lock-in your preferred date(s).