The hand battery provides very little current. Some multimeters (usually
inexpensive analog meters, with a pointer that moves) require more current to
make the pointer move than the hand battery can supply. If your multimeter
has a scale labeled 100 microamps or less (this is the same as 0.1 milliamps,
or 0.1 ma), then you might be able to get a current reading.
Alternatively, you might try to get access to a digital multimeter. These
generally require much less current to operate, and should do better for you
-- relatively inexpensive versions can now be found, or maybe you can borrow
one. Spurred by your email, I tried my digital multimeter at home with two
kitchen pans, and got a noticeable current reading on the 200 microamp scale
and a noticeable voltage reading on the 2 volt scale.
Hope this helps.
Exploratorium Teacher Institute
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