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This Battery Has Been Working for 60 Years

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Ah, batteries. They always die sooner than you think, right? Not this one! Called Karpen's Pile, this battery has been working uninterrupted since the 1950's. That's 60 years of charge!


The perpetual motion machine was built by Vasile Karpen and it should have stopped working decades ago. But when a Romanian newspaper went to check out Karpen's pile in the Romanian museum that houses it, the batteries in the machine "indicated the same 1 Volt as back in 1950".


How does it work? Well, scientists aren't really sure. Some scientists say the device works by transforming thermal energy into mechanical work, while others say it defies thermodynamics, basically no one who's studied the pile can reach a conclusion. Here's what it does:

The prototype has been assembled in 1950 and consists of two series-connected electric piles moving a small galvanometric motor. The motor moves a blade that is connected to a switch. With every half rotation, the blade opens the circuit and closes it at the the start of the second half. The blade's rotation time had been calculated so that the piles have time to recharge and that they can rebuild their polarity during the time that the circuit is open.

Pretty dense stuff. Karpen's Pile isn't actually on exhibit in the National Technical Museum from Romania, but that's because they don't have the money to provide adequate security for it. When they do display it, I want someone smarter than me to figure out how to get that kind of power in my laptop. [IBTimes]

Image Credit: bioconstructii