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Making cellphone batteries last longer

By Tim Sandle     Nov 11, 2014 in Technology
As mobile and wearable tech becomes more commonplace and sophisticated, one of the frustrations that consumers face is a lack of battery power. But now physicists have come up with a new way to make more powerful cellphone batteries.
There are various ways to protect cell phone battery life, such as turning off 4G when not in a 4G area; and turning off apps that don’t need to be running. However, the fact remains that the batteries often struggle.
The root of the problem is that electronic devices lose a great deal of energy by producing heat. This leads to mobile phone batteries consuming power at a rapid rate. Physicists have been studying this effect and they have found a way to slow this down by working at the molecular level.
The research has revealed some “universal properties” as to how nano-systems work and how power levels fluctuate. This has allowed researchers to find means to prevent the heat generated from the hottest areas of the device (around the batteries) from spreading to cooler areas.
This spread is a natural process and is described as the Second Law of Thermodynamics. What the researchers are working on is how to send the cooler particles towards the hotter ones, rather than the other way around.
At present, the research exists as a series of mathematical models. The next step is to put these equations to use and to construct “self-cooling” batteries. From this, the longer-term aim is to produce a new generation of batteries that would make devices less expensive to run be cheaper to run and to be more durable.
The research was carried out at the University of Luxembourg. The findings have been published in the journal Physical Review X, the paper is titled “Thermodynamics with Continuous Information Flow.”
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