Scientists use lightning to charge cellphone

LONDON (TIP): Thunder power! In a Frankensteinian breakthrough, scientists have for the first time charged a mobile phone using lightning bolt. Famous English author Mary Shelley in her gothic novel ‘Frankenstein’ used lightning to breathe life into the Frankenstein’s monster, some 200 years ago. The ground-breaking, proof-of-concept research by the University of Southampton, UK, into harnessing the power of lightning for personal use, is an industry first. The finding could potentially see consumers tap one of nature’s significant energy sources to charge their devices in a sustainable manner, researchers said. The study was undertaken to investigate how natural power resources could be used to a charge a mobile phone with an energy simulation similar to that of a bolt of lightning.”We were excited by this challenge presented to us by Nokia. Using an alternating current driven by a transformer, over 200,000 volts was sent across a 300mm gap – giving heat and light similar to that of a lightning bolt. The signal was then stepped into a second controlling transformer, allowing us to charge the phone,” Neil Palmer of the University’s Tony Davies High Voltage Laboratory – one of the world’s leading high voltage laboratories – said.

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