I was just sent a YouTube video, which appears to demonstrate that one can determine the "health" of a battery (current voltage, useful lifetime remaining, etc.) by bouncing it on a level surface.
- A new[ish] battery will not bounce, and tend to stay standing up.
- A drained battery will bounce and tend to fall over.
The comments are wrought with typical subjective banter, such as "This is the greatest new piece of knowledge ever," and, "This is definitely a hoax," which leads me to believe it could be a good candidate for Skeptics.SE.
As far as other sources of the claim, there's a post on Straight Dope where members attempt to both reproduce the test (one appears to have done so successfully) as well as determine the mechanism by which it occurs.
Is the test more than a YouTube video hoax, and, if so, is there an explanation for the mechanism that allows it to work as a test for battery health?
In terms of assessing the term "health," please use typical measures of remaining battery lifetime. This could be the voltage at the present moment vs. the starting voltage, or some means of calculating the remaining capacity (mAh). I simply mean to suggest answering in a way that's both quantifiable and relevant to the mechanism of alkaline battery electricity output.