Experiments You Can Do at Home - But Probably Shouldn't

Chapter 7
Twisted Shop Class » Plate Your 'Pod

Plate Your 'Pod

Coat your iPod in copper using electricity and a chemical bath. I think Apple sells fantastic objects that look like they came from the future. And apparently, in that future we all live in velvet rooms and have no fingers-there's no other way to explain the ultrashiny mirrored backside of my new iPod nano, which got scratched and grungy with fingerprints in exactly three seconds. So I gave it a nifty scuff shield and, while I was at it, my own logo, using a superthin layer of electroplated copper.

Electroplating is usually done in factories for things like covering car bumpers in chrome, but the process is simple. An electric current runs through an object submerged in a chemical bath along with a strip of metal called the anode. The current rips electrons from the material of the anode, turning it slowly into metal ions.

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