By building the tiniest functional lithium-ion battery ever, researchers at Sandia National Laboratory have explained why these power sources are so short-lived: their parts engage in an atomic-scale contortion act that leaves them weakened and susceptible to damage.
So next time you throw out (and hopefully recycle) a pair of lithium batteries, show some respect for the deformations it suffered while powering your camera.
Send a jolt of electric current through water—H2O, in chemical shorthand—and each water molecule splits into its components: two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen. That process is called electrolysis.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.