Unlike a battery, which stores power as chemical energy that’s slowly and steadily discharged to keep your gadgets running, a capacitor can unload all of its juice in the blink of an eye. Even a small capacitor has the potential to stop your heart, but when it’s the size of a dishwasher, well, this watermelon…
Your phone died. Again. In these scenarios, who among us has not dreamed the dream of a future where our devices charge instantly and last forever. As capacitors—or even more exciting, ultracapacitors—get better and better at storing energy, they could replace batteries and realize at least one half of that dream.
Graphene doesn't need any introduction: it's the super material to beat 'em all. But this beautiful video demonstrates how it could transform the future of the gadgets you use everyday.
You have likely never paid much attention to tantalum when you've gazed at the periodic table. It sits there, in the middle of a sea of transition metals, kind of out of the way and in the corner.
Some people (hello, hypochondriacs!) feel safer carrying around a first aid kit. Others—like many of you reading this right now—can only feel truly prepared if they're packing a few resistors, transistors and capacitors. Me, it's a miniUSB cable.