Nuclear Batteries Solve The Shrinking Gadget Conundrum

Illustration for article titled Nuclear Batteries Solve The Shrinking Gadget Conundrum

It sucks that batteries are nearly bigger than the gadgets they're powering, but thanks to University of Missouri researchers and some tiny nuclear batteries, that'll one day be an issue of the past. Yeah, you read right. Tiny. Nuclear. Batteries.


The real secret behind the size of the batteries is the use of new liquid semiconductors instead of tired old solid semiconductors. That's great, because nuclear batteries aren't a new idea, nor are they terrifying and harmful according to Jae Kwon, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Missouri:

"People hear the word ‘nuclear' and think of something very dangerous," he said. "However, nuclear power sources have already been safely powering a variety of devices, such as pace-makers, space satellites and underwater systems."

Anyway, researchers are building and testing these batteries as you read this, but the bad news is that the initial focus is on powering micro/nanoelectromechanical systems, not remote controls. We can't even begin to speculate as to when we would see tiny nuclear batteries in our local 7-Elevens. [University of Missouri via Boing Boing]


I stand corrected. Apparently, they *used* to use nuclear batteries in pacemakers. "They" have since decided that decision might have been a tad unwise; hence, the

following "what to do with a nuclear pacemaker" information: