Relativity Powers Your Car Battery Feature Summary

Type:
Physics in Your World
Title:
Relativity Powers Your Car Battery
Description:
If you own a car with a lead-acid battery, you might be interested to know that 80% of the voltage comes from Einstein's theory of special relativity. Lead works so well in storage batteries because its atom has a large nucleus, and the innermost electrons rotate at a significant fraction of the speed of light, bringing relativity into play. To learn more, visit this American Physical Society site.

(This feature was updated on March 3, 2014.)
Image:
image credit: Shaddack, Wikimedia Commons;  <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Photo-CarBattery.jpg" target="_blank">image source</a>; <a href="http://www.compadre.org/informal/images/features/Photo-CarBattery-large.jpg" target="_blank">larger image</a>
image credit: Shaddack, Wikimedia Commons; image source; larger image
Image URL:
http://www.compadre.org/Informal/images/features/Photo-CarBattery-large.jpg
Featured:
November 1, 2011 - November 15, 2011