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Iron phosphate  (Source: MIT)
The new battery isn't ready for commercial development, but it shows great promise

A new battery material created by researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) could lead to much faster recharge times for batteries.

MIT professor Gerbrand Ceder and researcher Byoungwoo Kang said the material can discharge energy and recharge nearly 100 times faster than batteries currently used in mobile phones.  Lithium-ion batteries are widely used in laptops as well, and could allow longer battery life and faster recharge time if a user is away from a power source for long durations of time.

"The ability to charge and discharge batteries in a matter of seconds rather than hours may open up new technological applications and induce lifestyle changes," Ceder and Kang sad in the latest edition of Nature.

The duo created a small battery that normally takes six minutes to charge, but used their new traffic flow to recharge the same battery in just 10 to 20 seconds.

It was widely believed the ions and electrons inside the battery moved too slowly, but the researchers noticed that wasn't the case.  They focused on how ions enter nano-scale tunnels aimed at moving electrons around the battery, and eventually created a lithium phosphate coating that helps push ions to the nano-scale tunnels.

Rechargeable lithium batteries used today have the ability to store high amounts of energy, but don't normally release that power, so they discharge very slowly.    

The battery has been supported with federal research money, and two companies have already licensed the technology, MIT announced.  It'd be possible to start mass producing the batteries in two to three years, the MIT researchers said. 

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By etekberg on 3/13/2009 8:12:57 AM , Rating: -1
Isn't a battery that very quickly releases it's energy also known as a bomb?

RE: dangerous?
By AnnihilatorX on 3/13/2009 8:26:41 AM , Rating: 5
Lead acid battery in cars release its energy very quickly due to the low internal resistance.
You can melt a wrench by shorting a car battery. Yet it is safe enough to be used.

RE: dangerous?
By SpaceJumper on 3/13/2009 9:56:58 AM , Rating: 2
Charging internal resistance is higher than the discharging internal resistance for the today batteries. The internal resistances dissipate the energy as heat and drive down the battery efficiency. Fast charging and discharging battery is basically mean high efficiency battery.

RE: dangerous?
By codeThug on 3/13/2009 2:38:22 PM , Rating: 2
Try hooking it directly up to a 300 gigajoule flux-capacitor mr. smarty pants.

RE: dangerous?
By Guspaz on 3/13/2009 8:28:05 AM , Rating: 5
Errm, no, it's known as a capacitor.

RE: dangerous?
By StevoLincolnite on 3/13/2009 11:10:55 AM , Rating: 3
A Flux Capacitor* So I can power the planetary shields, and defeat the Zerg!

RE: dangerous?
By GodisanAtheist on 3/13/2009 1:45:51 PM , Rating: 2
...and travel back to the future!

RE: dangerous?
By ccmfreak2 on 3/13/09, Rating: -1
RE: dangerous?
By pattycake0147 on 3/13/2009 8:52:41 AM , Rating: 3
All batteries have chemical reactions going on inside them. How else do you think they produce energy.

RE: dangerous?
By Raidin on 3/13/2009 9:43:31 AM , Rating: 3
Agreed, but be careful how you word it. They don't produce energy, they only transfer it.

RE: dangerous?
By pattycake0147 on 3/13/2009 9:57:02 AM , Rating: 2
This is true, point well taken.

RE: dangerous?
By 91TTZ on 3/13/2009 10:40:58 AM , Rating: 3
The same can be said of bombs. It takes loads of energy to make the materials, and then it's released in a fraction of a second.

RE: dangerous?
By Oregonian2 on 3/13/2009 2:48:59 PM , Rating: 2
Depends upon assumptions about the initial state (and one's word definitions). An assembled rechargeable battery may be "charged" upon assembly in which case they do "produce" energy their first run.

RE: dangerous?
By MrPoletski on 3/16/2009 7:04:31 AM , Rating: 2
Nothing produces energy.

energy can neither be created nor destroyed, only changed from one form to another.

Both a bomb and a battery convert chemical potential energy to something else.

A battery converts it to electric charge in a controlled manner. The more charge there is present, the slower the charge producing reaction occurs until it outputs its maximum voltage. A kind of negative feedback because as you draw charge out of the battery, the chemical reactions will accelerate to replace the lost charge. Outstrip it's a bility to generate more charge and you will current limit causing the votlage to drop.

A bomb, on the other hand, converts chemical potential energy to heat and it does so in a positive feedback manner. I.e. the hotter this chemical reaction gets, the faster the reaction occurs. The reaction itself producing heat. You end up with a runaway situation that is constantly accelerating until all the fuel is spent. Typically with concentional explosives this chemical reaction is simply combustion, often with an oxygen rich compound rather than air itself (an oxidising agent).

RE: dangerous?
By MrPoletski on 3/16/2009 12:14:46 PM , Rating: 2
as an addition..

A nuclear bomb converts nuclear binding energy into EM radiation (which is then subsequently absorbed by the surroundings to produce heat). This occurs in a chain reaction, this is not the same as the positive feedback situation inside a chemical explosive but very similar. The EM radiation produced by nuclear fission does not speed up the reaction process (and if anything might slow it slightly) but the increase in high energy free nuetrons DOES cause the chance of a fission reaction accuring to increase. Being as more free neutrons are produced by a fission reaction than required for it to occur (1 required, 3 produced, typically) this will effectively be a positive feedback situation.

Nuclear Fusion is different, the heat generated (again starts as EM and is absorbed) will increase the plasma temperature and hence the mean speed of the H ions meaning a collision (and hence fusion) is more likely.

Both these reactions are far easier to moderate than a chemical explosion, however. Free neutrons are often controlled by boron rods inserted into the reactor. In Fusion you can control the reaction by controlling the temperature and containment/pressure.

The only reason increased temperature might inhibit a fission reaction is by a detrimental affect on the correct moderation of the neutrons. This only really applies to a reactor, rather than a bomb as the fissile material is far elss dense. At the end of the day, the neutrons have to be within a certain speed range for the maximum chance of a fission interaction. The moderators inside a nuclear plant actually slow the neutrons down. More heat could hinder this, tbh you're more likely to have meltdown before anything significantly different manifests though.

RE: dangerous?
By modus2 on 3/13/2009 11:40:37 AM , Rating: 5
Nothing produces energy, it only alters the form of the energy between different kinds, ie kinetic, chemical, thermal, electric etc.

RE: dangerous?
By BladeVenom on 3/13/2009 11:50:30 AM , Rating: 2

RE: dangerous?
By MrPoletski on 3/16/2009 7:06:28 AM , Rating: 2
yes, matter is merely another form of energy.

RE: dangerous?
By TomZ on 3/13/09, Rating: 0
RE: dangerous?
By stirfry213 on 3/13/2009 12:56:13 PM , Rating: 2

Energy can not be created or destroyed, it can only change forms.

The Sun neither creates or destroys energy. It's nuclear fusion creates heavier atoms out of lighter ones, with the excess given off in many forms - heat/light/etc.

Don't believe everything you read in wikipedia...

RE: dangerous?
By TomZ on 3/13/09, Rating: -1
RE: dangerous?
By stirfry213 on 3/13/2009 2:54:28 PM , Rating: 2
You are sadly mistaken.

The increase in the internal energy of a system is equal to the amount of energy added by heating the system, minus the amount lost as a result of the work done by the system on its surroundings.

Since you like wikipedia:

In nuclear fission or fusion (or any reaction what-so-ever), energy is NEVER created or destroyed. The amount of energy that binds the particles of an atom is immense. This allows fusion reaction of converting hydrogen to helium to release insane amounts of energy that is stored in an atom.

In stars, hydrogen nuclei combine with each other in nuclear reactions to build helium atoms. These high-energy reactions create the light and heat of the Sun and most other stars.

Once you grasp all this information, you might try research Entropy:

RE: dangerous?
By TomZ on 3/13/2009 4:48:55 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe it's just semantics, not sure.

But the First Law, when stated just in terms of "energy" alone as you and I have stated it thus far, only holds up as long as you exclude nuclear processes like fission and fusion. And this makes sense when you think about it because these nuclear processes were first described in the beginning of the 20th century. The First Law, however, was stated nearly a century earlier.

If you restate the First Law to say that the combination of mass and energy are always conserved, then this properly takes into account nuclear processes. This is a more modern definition.

Mass and energy are not strictly speaking the same thing, although through a nuclear process it is possible to convert one to another.

This is how I learned it in college physics, and I don't see anything in any of your links that contradicts what I'm saying.

And here's a link that covers the "except" part for you (notice footnote #2).

Based on all this, I don't think it is much of a stretch to say the Sun "creates" energy, even though technically it is just converting mass to energy through fusion. But since most people agree that mass and energy are different follow what I'm saying here?

RE: dangerous?
By Black69ta on 3/14/2009 12:43:28 PM , Rating: 4
First Law does hold up even in terms on Fission and or Fusion.
Think of it this way Nuclear Bonds are immensely strong, so when you fissile an atom (or split it) you release the energy that was required to hold it together. But one atom isn't split at a time, it is a function of millions and billions of atoms at a time hence the tremendous amounts of energy released.

Fusion is the opposite, Deuterium and Tritium both contain a set amount energy to bond them into atoms. When fused they form an ordinary Helium atom. Helium requires less nuclear bonding then Deuterium and Tritium combined so the excess energy is released. There is no creation just conversion. The "First Law of Thermodynamics" is a law because there are no exceptions.

If a star like our sun produced energy instead of just converting the mass is contains, there would be no Supernovas or Black Holes or stars that just burn out. They burn out out because the mass of fuel they contains runs out and they can no longer support fusion.

Mass is not the same a energy however is is equivalent to energy related by the formula E=Mc^2, at least least until someone can prove Einstein wrong. Mass and energy can be thought of as the same in the way that water and Ice can be thought of as the same while a cubic meter of water doesn't freeze into a cubic meter of ice, the ratio is constant, much the same as the ratio of mass to energy.

RE: dangerous?
By MrPoletski on 3/16/2009 7:13:06 AM , Rating: 2
You sir, are correct.

Mass is another form of energy, but energy is not another form of mass. =)

RE: dangerous?
By masaauk on 3/16/2009 10:20:40 PM , Rating: 2
I am truly sorry good sir but you're incorrect. Nuclear fission/fusion does not change mass into energy (not intrinsic mass anyways). They change relativistic mass, which already has an energy component to it, (the energy added by binding energies within the atom) into energy. The intrinsic mass of two hydrogen atoms is the same as one helium atom (assuming a deuterium ion). If you take into account the differences in binding energy, the helium atom now has a relativistic mass lower than its components. That energy is released in the form of EM radiation.
Don't blame it on the alcohol, blame it on the strong force!

RE: dangerous?
By stirfry213 on 3/13/2009 4:04:09 PM , Rating: 2
Just incase anyone is curious, here's another link that can be informative.

RE: dangerous?
By Omega215D on 3/14/2009 7:09:35 AM , Rating: 2
Right at the bottom of the page (for me) "In this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics"

RE: dangerous?
By gsellis on 3/13/2009 12:31:26 PM , Rating: 2
If you did not get BladeVenom's response (and I started to reply to the key post of this thread), mass can produce energy. Not all bombs are chemical. The first significant non-chemical one was tested on July 16th, 1945 in New Mexico.

RE: dangerous?
By MadMan007 on 3/13/2009 12:51:56 PM , Rating: 4
Not quite. Mass doesn't 'produce' energy, it is energy. Nuclear fission and fusion simply utilize the energy stored within atoms (or released when one atoms combine) which is simply a lot higher energy density than chemical reaction bombs.

RE: dangerous?
By TomZ on 3/13/09, Rating: -1
RE: dangerous?
By codeThug on 3/13/2009 2:41:37 PM , Rating: 1
masher must be taking the day off.

RE: dangerous?
By MadMan007 on 3/13/2009 3:07:20 PM , Rating: 2
It was a simplified explanation and close enough for layman's chitchat. You're just trying to argue semantics.

RE: dangerous?
By stirfry213 on 3/13/2009 3:48:20 PM , Rating: 2
You need to stop spewing this nonsense. Please refer to my previous responce to your posts.

Now, if you really want to take a stance against the first law of thermodynamics, disprove it. Since said law is not based on proofs, it just is...

The first law of thermodynamics continues to be a law because physics has never provided evidence against what it states.

RE: dangerous?
By TomZ on 3/13/09, Rating: 0
RE: dangerous?
By gsellis on 3/16/2009 7:47:01 AM , Rating: 2
Matter is converted to energy. "Produces" was a poor choice of words. But after a nuclear reaction, you will not have the same amount of mass. Same for a matter - anti-matter reaction. Mass is 'destroyed' as it is converted to energy.

RE: dangerous?
By General Disturbance on 3/13/2009 12:25:18 PM , Rating: 2
No you're right etekberg...that is a very popular term in science fiction...Larry Niven's universe anyway.
Great reference!

RE: dangerous?
By Chocobollz on 3/13/09, Rating: 0
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