Wow! There aren’t too many things I see everyday that make me go wow ! This could be next big thing that might have a noticeable impact on how you and I work everyday and the possibilities are quite staggering if you think about it. But of course for now, I’ll be happy to have just quickly charging cell phones, laptops, mp3 players and hybrid cars that do not degrade in performance quickly if it is plugged in too long ! Grrr …
Here’s an excerpt from the article that talks a little about the physics involved:
A number of recent papers suggested that, in at least one lithium battery class (based on LiFePO4), the problem wasn’t the speed at which lithium moved—instead, it could only enter and exit crystals of this salt at specific locations. This, in turn, indicated that figuring a way to speed up this process would increase the overall performance of the battery.
To accomplish this, the authors developed a process that created a disorganized lithium phosphate coating on the surfaces of LiFePO4 crystals. By tweaking the ratio of iron to phosphorous in the starting mix and heating the material to 600°C under argon for ten hours, the authors created a material that has a glass-like coating that’s less than 5nm thick, which covers the surface of pellets that are approximately 50nm across. That outer coating has very high lithium mobility, which allows charge to rapidly move into and out of storage in the LiFePO4 of the core of these pellets. In short, because lithium can move quickly through this outer coating, it can rapidly locate and enter the appropriate space on the LiFePO4 crystals.
The results are pretty astonishing. At low discharge rates, a cell prepared from this material discharges completely to its theoretical limit (~166mAh/g). As the authors put it, “Capacity retention of the material is superior.” Running it through 50 charge/discharge cycles revealed no significant change in the total capacity of the battery.
Here are a few links on the same topic if you are hungry to learn more about it.
1) MIT news.
2) The UK Daily mail.
3) At Technology-Review via Slashdot.
Here’s another one of their inventions that bubbles efficiency. A foldable bike. I have seen ones like this in Wired and other sites before but these guys have taken it to a whole new level. For example, they have a foldable hardtail ride that tackles rugged mountain trails with standard 26” wheel specification.
If only the cost was down to earth as the idea itself …
There has been quite a furore about an unknown truck driver delivering a thorough account of the first 2 nuclear bombs ever built on the face of the earth. Intrigued and excited, I searched google to read more about him and stumbled on this gem of an interview/article that brought him to light.
Read David Samuels’s account about the truck driver, John Coster-Mullen, who conducted more than a decade of research to successfully build the first accurate replica of Little-Boy, the master-blaster that annihilated Hiroshima, ending WWII. The article itself is quite interesting and leaves you wanting for more. Here’s an excerpt:
I recently wrote to Coster-Mullen and suggested that we take a trip across the country to visit his Little Boy replica, which is currently housed at Wendover, a decommissioned Air Force base in Utah. After some negotiation, we agreed to ride together on his late-night delivery route between Waukesha and Chicago. We would then drive to Wendover. Along the way, he would explain the inner workings of the first atomic bombs, and I would learn how he got it right and the experts got it wrong.
Atomic John: The New Yorker.
I can’t wait to get my hands on the his book “Atom Bombs: The Top Secret Inside Story of Little Boy and Fat Man”.
I remember reading about this while I was travelling in India and so decided to search on it now. And it was true !
Here are some nice photos and details about the fantastic 747 jumbo-jet hostel !
The Jumbo Hostel | Oddity Central.
Finally, after a long wait, i decided to get a new phone. I still do not know why i waited so long.
The Audiovox SMT5600 Tri-band GSM Smartphone arrived by mail yesterday and is active and rocking ! The features in this phone are great and it kinda eliminates a need for a new mp3 player for now. Its got a built-in 32 mb memory (not much, i know) which can store videos, songs, pictures and docs ! There is also a SD card slot to upgrade the memory, if i want to ! And you know what’s great even more ?? Its freakin free with the service ! Cingular 450 daytime min with rollback and a free phone. Neat huh ?!
It works great but hasn’t changed my life much. Before i start cribbing more, here is how it looks.
So if you are someone I know, and if you dont have my number, drop me a mail.
Gmail Gems – Yeah you guessed it right. It is related to Google’s new email service. What better way to teach people about GMail than to open up a weblog and evangelize it !
Read more on Gmail Gems or Secrets of the Gmail Wizards …