The Mystery of the Continuously Functioning Battery From 1840

Jason Koebler over at Motherboard recently highlighted a scientific mystery that may not be solved any time soon.

In the mid-1800s, Robert Walker, a physics professor at the University of Oxford, acquired an interesting device. It was a battery designed to propel a hanging metal ball quickly back and forth, between two small bells. Today, 175 years after it was manufactured, the Oxford Electric Bell, as it is often referred to, is still ringing—in fact, it is said to have rung over 10 billion times.

Built by Watkins and Hill, a London instrument-manufacturing firm and with a note attached in Walker’s own hand reading “Set up in 1840,” the battery would eventually come to be displayed at the University’s Clarendon Laboratory.

How exactly has the apparatus, dubbed the “world’s most durable battery” by the Guiness Book of World Records, functioned for so long? No one knows for sure. That’s because, as Koebler points out, opening the device could potentially “ruin an experiment to see how long it will last.”

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An example of Lenz's Law

                    

An example of Lenz’s Law

Video’s like these; apart from being extremely satisfying to watch, are a perfect representation of one of the most fundamental laws to almost all motors and machinery, Lenz’s Law.

Lenz’s law states that: “An induced electromotive force (emf) always gives rise to a current whose magnetic field opposes the original change in magnetic flux”.

Confusing on the surface, but remembering that:

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Resolved: Can I run my MacBook in clamshell mode without being connected to power? #dev #answer #fix

Resolved: Can I run my MacBook in clamshell mode without being connected to power? #dev #answer #fix

Can I run my MacBook in clamshell mode without being connected to power?

At home, I run my MacBook in clamshell mode (closed lid, external display).

This works fine when you’re connected to the power adapter, but it doesn’t work when running on battery. That’s how it’s supposed to be and Apple has some kb entry on the issue. But it’s also lame.

You can prevent the machine from sleeping when…

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