This article originally appeared on 11.03.17


There's an old saying that luck happens when preparation meets opportunity. There's no better example of that than a recent discovery at the University of California, Irvine, by doctoral student Mya Le Thai. After playing around in the lab, she made a discovery that could lead to a rechargeable battery that lasts up to 400 years. That means longer-lasting laptops and smartphones and fewer lithium-ion batteries piling up in landfills.

A team of researchers at UCI had been experimenting with nanowires for potential use in batteries, but they found that over time the thin, fragile wires would break down and crack after too many charging cycles. A charge cycle is when a battery goes from completely full to completely empty and back to full again.

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