OK, you read this article and tell me whether or not I summarized it accurately:
(PhysOrg.com) — Physicists at Yale University have made the first definitive measurements of “persistent current,” a small but perpetual electric current that flows naturally through tiny rings of metal wire even without an external power source.
The team used nanoscale cantilevers, an entirely novel approach, to indirectly measure the current through changes in the magnetic force it produces as it flows through the ring. “They’re essentially little floppy diving boards with the rings sitting on top,” said team leader Jack Harris, associate professor of physics and applied physics at Yale. The findings appear in the October 9 issue of Science.
The counterintuitive current is the result of a quantum mechanical effect that influences how electrons travel through metals, and arises from the same kind of motion that allows the electrons inside an atom to orbit the nucleus forever. “These are ordinary, non-superconducting metal rings, which we typically think of as resistors,” Harris said. “Yet these currents will flow forever, even in the absence of an applied voltage.”
As to what they’re going to do with this shiny new ability… well, that’s up to the people with the robes and pointy hats. But with any luck at all we’ll get a blaster pistol out of it, or something.
Via Fark Geek.