Teensy battery that runs for 50 years

Dig this — some skull-kings at Cornell have created a tiny battery that could run for 50 years off a small piece of Nickel-63.

The decaying Nickel-63 shoots a stream of electrons up at a strip of copper, giving it a negative charge. After a while, the negative charge is so strong the copper strip bends downwards to touch the Nickel-63 — discharging a tiny current. The copper strip bends back upwards again, and the whole process repeats itself. The result? A battery that could be made as small as one cubic millimeter, perfect for powering tiny robots. Tiny robots, people!!

Check out the way-kewl comic-strip illustrating the process here.

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I'm Clive Thompson, the author of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better (Penguin Press). You can order the book now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, Indiebound, or through your local bookstore! I'm also a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Wired magazine. Email is here or ping me via the antiquated form of AOL IM (pomeranian99).

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