Science: Perpetual Power?

A glass tankful of bluish chemicals, half darkened and half sunlit, is now busy generating electric current. What is more, it can keep on keeping on—at least in theory—for as many ages as the sun shines and the earth survives.

Unlike many scientific developments, this invention by an M.I.T. chemist is more than an advance into the hinterlands of already explored territory—it is a landing on a strange and alien coast. The light-transforming action of this cell can be roughly compared to the synthesis of food within green plants, a process which scientists have not been able to duplicate, even crudely.

More...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!