Special relativity deals with physical extremes. It governs the behaviour of subatomic particles zipping around powerful accelerators at close to the speed of light and its equations foresaw the conversion of mass into energy in nuclear bombs. A paper in Physical Review Letters, however, reports a more prosaic application. According to the calculations of Pekka Pyykko of the University of Helsinki and his colleagues, the familiar lead-acid battery that sits under a car’s hood and provides the oomph to get the engine turning owes its ability to do so to special relativity.
Short-hop regional flights could be running on batteries in a few years.
The artifacts were often made from found objects – an Ivory dish-soap bottle transformed into an earthenware figure.
On New Year’s Eve 1899, the captain of this Pacific steamliner sailed into history. Or did he?