Remember the word “spintronics” as you may be hearing more and more about it over the coming months. It’s basically a phenomenon that creates magnetic currents that behave much in the same way that electric currents work, except with out all the heat that electric currents generate.
In the computer world, advancements have already been made toward magnetic RAM, which is said to be much faster than conventional RAM and uses far less power (like 90% less power). Now scientists in Japan have extended the same principle towards batteries. Such a battery, when used in, say, a laptop, would produce no heat and would consume far less power.
The new breakthrough has been coined the “Seebeck effect” in honor of Thomas Johan Seebeck, who discovered thermoelectricity back in the 1800s. No word on if we’ll actually see these wonderful batteries anytime soon, but I’m guessing we’ll be stuck with the good old lap-scorching, explosion-prone lithium ion batteries for a while.