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Discussion in 'Battery Discussion' started by vfx, Mar 17, 2009.
Has anyone ever heard of this type of battery before?
At first, I thought the post was referring to mechanical batteries, like in F1's KERS system. (you know, they spin really fast) These magnetic "spin" batteries are just the opposite, supposedly - no moving parts!
Interesting. The kind of "spin" they are referring to is the first thing I think of when I hear the word. This is actually related to my field (sometimes called spintronics). I'll have to get around to reading the Nature article at some point.
Wouldn't expect an actual product any time soon, though. Likely some cool physics, but not clear it's really better than conventional batteries, in spite of the researcher's spin (ah ha!).
The "spin" they are referring to is a wholly quantum mechanical property. It refers to intrinsic (quantized) angular momentum. I guess most people learn something about it in high school chemistry classes in the context of the Pauli exclusion principle of electrons. This spin angular momentum is separate from the orbital angular momentum (s, p, d, etc. electron shells).
The marketing guys will be sure to "spin" that for all it's worth!
How can you not be intrigued by the use of the word "counterintuitive"?
I prefer actual understanding to "theoretical understanding" when it comes to practical applications.
Science Daily: Spin Battery: Physicist Develops Battery Using New Source Of Energy
Magnetic 'Spin Battery' Announced
IBM Research | Almaden Research Center | IBM-Stanford Spintronic Science and Applications Center Events
Physics - Lending an iron hand to spintronics
In this context "theoretical understanding" means actual understanding. You see something unexpected, perhaps even counterintuitive in the lab, it's important to have a mathematical model that explains what's going on. Hopefully that model is consistent with existing theory (if you're just trying to graduate). If it doesn't then that can be very interesting scientifically and at the same time very frustrating. Perhaps you have some new physics, but that's hard to prove. More likely than not, you've just missed something. You need a proper theoretical understanding before you really know what's going on.
However, engineers can often make something useful out of certain effect without actual understanding.
Btw, at some point or another, I've had collaborators at all three of those universities (well University of Florida, not necessarily Miami). They're all known for having good high magnetic field laboratories.
I've actually have spent a good amount of time in the Tokyo lab (part of the reason I learned Japanese). They can be some pretty dramatic experiments. The type of thing where you make a building wide danger announcement over the PA. Press a big red button in a room separate from the experiment. The actual experiment sits in a steel reinforced chamber. That red button closes a huge bank of air gap capacitors, that sit in yet another chamber, sending 5 megaJoules of electricity in only a millisecond through a coil producing a magnetic field of up to 650 Tesla (!!!) before exploding with a very big noise. ...and you pray that all your instruments recorded the data.
Access : Electromotive force and huge magnetoresistance in magnetic tunnel junctions : Nature
Doug, are you thinking of going to that IBM event?
Slashdot | "Spin Battery" Effect Discovered
A new spin on battery technology | Cutting Edge - CNET News