3 Different Types of Batteries and How They Have Evolved Over Time

Batteries can be described as a portable power source. Items that can also be plugged into the mains can often be powered by a battery when taken out and about. Button cell batteries are often used in devices as a back-up source of power when other batteries run out, or there is a power cut, and the mains supply is interrupted. This is important with clock radios where you want the time to continue rather than pick-up where it left off after the power cut or even default to Noon or zero.

Alkaline Batteries

In 1899, Waldemar Junger, a Swiss engineer, developed an alkaline silver-cadmium battery. In the early 1900s, Edison would also patent a battery. It contained hydrogen hydroxide as an electrolyte and was rechargeable, although had trouble retaining its charge. They would almost seem to have invented the battery in parallel.

The modern version of the alkaline dry battery, which uses zinc/manganese dioxide chemistry, was invented in the 1950s by Lewis Urry, a Canadian engineer. He created it before starting work at Union Carbide’s Eveready Battery division in Cleveland. Urry had further developed what Edison had started experimenting on.

The difference between alkaline and non-alkaline batteries is in how the electrolytes differ. Modern alkaline batteries, for instance, contain potassium hydroxide. Alkaline batteries will last longer and have more power than non-alkaline batteries because of the materials contained within them. Batteries from the modern era that are non-alkaline include NiCD, NiMH, NiZN, lithium, and rechargeable ones.

The letters on a battery relate to its size, in terms of length and width. A “AA” battery means that it is 50.5mm x 14.4mm. The later the letter in the alphabet, the larger the battery. For instance, a “C” size battery is smaller than a “D” sized one. “AAA” denotes a battery of smaller dimensions than a “AA”. It is all creates a simpler and more standardized way of distinguishing the battery required to power a device.

Button Cell Batteries

It was in 1960 that Eveready Industries in the US commercialized the first of the button cell batteries. They were of the silver-oxide type. In 1976, Hitachi Maxell Ltd would commercialize their battery of this type in Japan. These types of batteries are small and able to fit inside smaller devices such as watches. As devices were being miniaturized, batteries were available that fit them and kept them small. LR44 was a popular battery in the 1980s for the multitude of hand-held electronic games that were being produced.

Car Batteries

The answer to what early car batteries look like is simply that cars did not have batteries. They had limited electric systems and did not require them. A bell, for example, would be the way to alert others they were in your road, rather than an electric horn. The headlights were powered by gas, and the engine was started with a hand crank. It all sounds very primitive now but to many classic car enthusiasts, it is still a reality. It was in the 1920s when car batteries were used in cars to any great extent. It was when cars came with electric starter motors. It was the 1912 Cadillac that became the first car to replace its hand crank with an electric starter motor. Ford’s Model T, despite many other manufacturers of motor cars now switching over, would continue to be started by hand crank throughout 1919.

In 1918, the Hudson Motor Car Company was the first manufacturer of motor cars to used standardized battery technology. They started using BCI/Battery Council International batteries. This was the organization which set the dimension standards for the batteries used. Until the mid-1950s, cars would have 6V electrical systems and accompanying batteries to fit this standard.

On modern cars, the battery is charged via the alternator. On earlier cars, it was a dynamo. Both these are generators and driven by a belt linked up to the engine. This is how car battery technology evolved over time when a battery was needed at all.


So, there is more to batteries than you might think, and it might only be when your torch is not lighting up, or your car will not start, that you begin to wonder just how you would manage without them.



6 Giant Leaps Forward in Space Exploration

This space will be reserved for a few of the technological advancements that have been made in the field of space exploration. From Neil Armstrong’s giant leap for mankind to man being able to explore Mars using Space Rovers.


Two brave pioneers spring to mind when you think of spaceflight.

Russian Cosmonaut Uri Gagarin became the first man in space on 12 April 1961, orbiting it for 108 minutes in his Vostok 1 spacecraft. Previously only un-manned missions had been carried out.

The first man-made object to land on the moon had been the Soviet Union’s Luna 2 on 13 September 1959. It was not, however, until 20 July 1969 that man arrived there in person and was able to walk its surface for the first time in history. A crew from the United States achieved it with Neil Armstrong, who uttered the famous words, “One Giant Leap for Mankind,” after bravely exiting his Apollo 11 spacecraft. Armstrong had previously been a naval aviator and test pilot. He had only spent 8 days, 14 hours 12 minutes and 30 seconds in space. He was accompanied by fellow astronaut Buzz Aldrin, and together, they spent approximately 2¼ hours on the moon’s surface collecting 21. 5kg of material to take back to Earth.


A spacesuit protects an astronaut or cosmonaut against space’s harsh environment, in relation to vacuum and temperature extremes. Three types of spacesuits were created. The intravehicular activity (IVA), the extravehicular activity (EVA), and the IEVA (Intra/extravehicular activity), allowing for space travellers to protect themselves inside and outside pressurized spacecraft. The inside suits are lighter and therefore more comfortable. Outdoor suits provide protection from extreme temperature changes and micrometeorites. For spacewalks and planet explorations, EVAs are worn.

As an advancement in spacesuit technology, the SpaceX spacesuit allows for power, water, and air connections, to pass through one panel that is situated in the middle of the right thigh section of the suit.

Space Shuttle

The space shuttle was able to take satellites and large parts into space. It helped to build the International Space Station. The first flight in NASA’s Space Shuttle Program took place on 12 April 1981 and would return on 14 April. Space Transportation System-1 (STS-1) orbited the Earth 36 times during its short mission.

Hubble Space Telescope

The Hubble Space Telescope had not been the first space telescope but is the largest and most versatile of its kind. It has been, and still is, invaluable as a tool for astronomers to better understand the universe that is out there. To give you an idea of its power, it can spot the light from a firefly 7,000 miles away. There is no doubt that it has been responsible for revealing many previously unknown facts in relation to the cosmos.

Hubble has discovered that most of the major galaxies known to man are anchored by a black hole at their center. The famous telescope has also identified Nix and Hydra, the two moons of Pluto, and assisted in working out the rate that the universe is expanding. In addition, it has created a three-dimensional map of dark matter for scientists.

Another telescope that has been used, but since retired, is the Kepler Space Telescope, named after astronomer Johannes Kepler. It was launched by NASA on 7 March 2009 to discover the Earth-size planets that are orbiting the other stars.

International Space Station (ISS)

As a home for crews of astronauts and cosmonauts, the International Space Station was built in low Earth orbit. It is a modular space station and contains a bespoke science laboratory. It is the collaborative project of five space agencies: NASA, CSA, ESA, JAXA, and Roscosmos. The space station flies at 18,000 mph and can sometimes be observed as a bright light moving quickly across the sky. NASA officials say that it is most visible at either dawn or dusk.

Mars Exploration Rover

Space Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, were launched in 2003. In January 2004, they explored the surface and geology of Mars from separate locations on the planet’s surface. Mars is one of the rocky planets and famous for the red glow it provides astronomers. Its red colour is due to the planet’s high iron content, which has oxidized in the outdoors. Just as the l will if outside and left untreated.

In summary, there have been major developments in space exploration because of brave astronauts and cosmonauts, and the technology that has assisted them in their missions. One day, Man may even explore Mars first-hand, as Neil Armstrong did the craters of the moon.

4 Ways the Dating Industry Has Been Revolutionized by Technology

Sometimes using social media technology can spoil a relationship, should we post something unromantic or not remotely funny, but the upside of this technology is that it can provide useful tools to help discover romance in the first place. This article will explore 4 ways that technology has helped with dating. How it has allowed users to discover that special person, who has then gone on to become their lifelong companion who gives them the reason to go to bed early or to get up in the morning.

Early Computer Dating Services

It was in 1959 that a Stanford student project was to create the first ever computer dating service. They used an IBM 650 to determine the similarities between 98 chosen subjects based upon a profile of 30 questions. The punch cards themselves represented little romance for the project’s participants but matching like-minded individuals together earned the students involved an “A” grade. A few years later in 1965, Harvard student Tarr co-founded Operation Match.

The Internet and Social Media

If you are the kind of person who finds meeting someone for the first time face-to-face uncomfortable, then the internet can be a way of getting to know someone first from a distance. Social media platforms allow us to communicate without making any real commitment. Often a person’s interests will be displayed on screen without us having to ask for them. The fact that they are a member of a certain group will be an indicator as to their individual interests.


As far back as 1984, the SMS (Short Message Service) concept was developed by Friedhelm Hillebrand and Bernard Ghillebaert. In 1992, the 3rd December to be precise, the first ever text message would then be sent by Neil Papworth. He was a former developer at Sema Group Telecoms, so one can assume that the text was not sent for dating purposes. Although, texting became an invaluable aid to future dating, allowing its users to easily make the arrangements required to meet up. Sometimes for a blind date, where photographs were not exchanged, just messages. SMS is an old technology now but still widely used. It is limited to 160 characters per message, although many messages will be much shorter than this.

Texting, as a technology, allows us to keep in touch without disturbing someone as much as if we were to ring and speak to them. Messages can be created and sent in public spaces without disturbing others. Texts are much quicker to send than any other form of communication and often instant replies can be obtained. Text messages can encourage communication that would not otherwise have taken place. Communication is, of course, an important part of dating. To know if someone is compatible, you first need to find out as much about them as they are willing to divulge.

Dating Apps

An online dating app on a mobile phone will take advantage of smartphone technology such as a GPS location facility. Some popular dating apps include:

  • Tinder – By definition, a dry flammable material (wood or paper) that lights a fire but in dating terms a very popular app. Its name would suggest a cosy moment of intimacy by a fire. The app matches couples in accordance with their physical attraction to each other.
  • Bumble – Bumble might sound like a character from Charles Dickens’s Oliver Twist, or a definition for clumsiness, but it is in fact the name of another popular dating app. Bumble Premium allows access to Beeline, allowing you to see your admirers.
  • Facebook – Is an interactive community where profiles can be put on and messages freely exchanged.
  • Grindr – Their Unlimited version of the app allows its subscribers to unsend any messages, go Incognito, and view unlimited profiles.
  • Match.com – Allows for photos and profiles to be viewed, and messages sent. Members are permitted to send one VIP email weekly.
  • OkCupid – With just a basic account you can see all your potential matches. Paid options remove ads and offer unlimited likes.

With statistics stating that the online global dating market is expected to increase in size to 3.592 billion USD by the end of 2025, the technology looks set to continue to influence the way that we date. We just need to be mindful that the information someone is putting on is truthful. You know, the garbage in, garbage out (GIGO) computer philosophy. Otherwise, the whole online dating process can be floored. It is clearly working, though, as there are many people who claim to have met their long-term partner online, who they are still sharing their life with to this day.


3 Useful Apps in Today’s World

With so many apps to choose from, it might be helpful, useful even, to consider those which have the most use in today’s world. That is not necessarily because they help us in business but because they make our social lives more exciting and fulfilling. Entertainment can be cheap and just an app away.


As one of the most downloaded apps of 2020, TikTok is something to talk about. Previously known as musical.ly, TikTok is a social medium platform that allows its users to create, share, and discover the music videos of others. These are short videos that resemble the karaoke craze of the past. It is all about people displaying their musical talent of singing, dancing, or both. Even comedy is included for further amusement. So, there is plenty to make us laugh and, as a result, enhance our day. A craze that has made a resurgence on TikTok is lip-syncing, which is pretending to sing by moving your lips to music. Rather like in a church when you forget the words to the hymns and do not want the vicar to know. All good fun. To the list of activities that people share in trying to entertain others, including their friends, we could add air guitar. For this, you do not need to know how to play it, just be able to look like you can.


With the Zoom app, you can create or schedule meetings. These can be business-related, educational, or simply catch-up with friends. It is the new Skype. By setting up an account, you can change personal settings and update your profile as much as you like. It is useful to be able to see as well as hear someone. That is, you can hear someone unless they are “on mute”, as the expression goes. With Zoom, you can hold engaging webinars, collaborations, and chat. It is like sitting in on an actual meeting. You can see everyone’s body language and expressions as they chat with you. It cuts down on travel costs and saves on time. For a business, time is money.


No app list would be complete without mentioning Facebook, one of the earliest apps, and one we expect to already be showing on our new mobile phone when we purchase it. An interesting statistic from a few years ago was that 79 percent of Facebook users would access the social media platform from their mobile phones. This must surely be higher now. Facebook allows its subscribers to interact with one another, allowing them to post comments and videos after linking up. It makes use of the emoticon to like, love, laugh, or wow, other people’s posts. So far, Facebook has resisted the urge to include an emoticon that suggests you do not like someone’s post. This leaves doubt as to whether you have deliberately not liked it, or simply not seen it among all the other feed that there is to read. The more groups you sign up to, the more of it there will be to read through to keep yourself up to date with what your friends and family are doing. It can be like an online diary, with some even writing about what they had for breakfast or how hard their sprouts were. It is a place you can air your news, views, funny moments, and woes of the day. As a cautionary note, do not take to heart too much what people are saying. Each view is only one person’s view and there is a whole world out there. Be yourself and do not give unpleasant comments any time of day or night. Enjoy, though, the numerous wonderful comments of praise and those that make you smile.

So, some key apps to think about here, that it would now be difficult to be without.


How the Technology We See With has Changed

We perhaps take it for granted that despite having been born with less than perfect vision, we can continue to have it corrected by lenses, or more permanently elect to have it corrected by laser eye surgery. This was not always the case. This article will explore how technology has changed in optometry.

Early Lenses

13th century examples exist from Europe of handheld convex lenses that were used in the treatment of presbyopia, or vision loss that was age-related. Today, these are referred to as reading glasses. In Italy, lenses were glass-blown and set in in leather, wood, or animal horn. The glass would be held against the face or perched upon the nose.

It is thought that Salvino D’Armate is likely to have invented eyeglasses in about 1285, although there are sources suggesting it was earlier. Salvino was to share his invention with Italian Monk, Allesandro dell Spina. He was the one who made it public, and due to this, has often been crediting with having invented them himself.

Lorgnettes, that is spectacles on a handle, were thought to have been invented by George Adams around 1770.

In 1784, Benjamin Franklin, an American statesman, inventor, and author, was credited with the invention of the bifocal eye lens, which has become invaluable for those having trouble with both long and short distance vision. In 1827, John Isaac Hawkins was to develop trifocals, recognising those people struggling with all distances. A later development would take away the lines which made it obvious that they were bifocal or trifocal lenses.

Pince-nez, a style of glasses not supported by the ears, became popular in the late to early 20th centuries. It is thought that no spectacles had sides until the second quarter of the 18th century when it became the norm.

In the 1980s, safety was introduced for spectacle wearers when plastic lenses were produced. These would be lighter and harder to break, and as technology progressed, ever thinner and more cosmetically pleasing. This material allowed then for protective coatings to be created for lenses which helped reduce the glare from lights and computer screens.

Representing sunglasses for the spectacle wearer, transitions, or photochromic lenses, were first manufactured in 1990 by Transitions Optical, a company in the US. These allowed for a regular pair of glasses to change from clear to dark when outdoors in the sun, and then back to clear once indoors again. As technology developed, this transition period became quicker and different shades could be chosen between.

Contact Lenses

It was possibly German glassblower Muller, using Herschel’s ideas, who came up with contact lenses. Other reports say it was Adolf E. Fick and Paris Optician Edouard Kalt, who first created and fitted contact lenses in 1888 to correct vision problems.

Contact lenses were first developed for more widespread use in the 1970s. They were made from oxygen-permeable materials and known as rigid glass permeable lenses (RGPs). Rigid lenses would be shaped to naturally cover the cornea with a refracting surface created.

A further technological development has been to create softer and disposable lenses. Soflens were the first of the soft contact lenses to be FDA approved in the US in 1971, to then be supplied from 1972. It was not until 1995 that disposable contact lenses were available. The first of these was the Premier Award lens created in Scotland by Roy Hamilton.

Contact lenses are particularly useful in occupations and hobbies where the wearer’s glasses or spectacles might be damaged. For instance, when playing sport. Then, a cosmetic use for them was thought of – they could be used to change the colour of a person’s eyes. This development came about in 1981 with the invention of coloured contact lenses, which were created by the Ciba Vision Company. This had become possible to produce different colours following the development of the soft lenses during the period 1975 to 1980.


Laser Eye Surgery

Since 1988, when the first vision correction/photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) procedure happened, to correct Marguerite McDonald’s damaged eye, laser correction surgery has become widespread for those seeing the wearing of spectacles as less than flattering, and finding it more comfortable, easier, and safer in their job, to not have to wear something on their face.

It is recommended for hyperopia (farsightedness), myopia (nearsightedness), or astigmatism, but less so for presbyopia (age-related farsightedness).

LASIK has been FDA-approved in the US since 1999. In most cases, patients electing to have the surgery will end up with 20/20 vision.


So, we can now, if we choose to, see without feeling self-conscious or having the bother of fitting contact lenses in a morning.


Ancient Star Explosions Revealed in Deep-Sea Sediments

A mystery surrounding the space around our cosmic region is unfolding thanks to evidence of supernovae found in deep-sea sediments. According to a scientific study which shows the Earth has been travelling for the 33,000 years through a cloud of faintly radioactive dust. The study suggests that these clouds could be remnants of previous supernova explosions, a powerful and super bright explosion of a start.

Researchers searched through several deep-sea sediments from two different locations that date back to 33,000 years using an extremely sensitive instrument called a spectrometer. They found clear traces of the isotope iron-60, which is formed when starts die in supernova explosions.

Iron-60 is radioactive and completely decays away within 15 million years, which means any iron-60 found on Earth must have been formed much later than the rest of the 4.6 billion year old earth and appeared here from nearby supernovae before settling on the bottom of the sea.

Scientists have discovered traces of iron-60 at about 2.6 million years ago, and maybe another at approximately 6 million years ago, suggesting earth had traversed fallout clouds from nearby supernovae. For the last few thousand years the solar system has been moving through a heavy cloud of gas and dust, known as the local interstellar cloud (LIC), whose origins are unclear.

If this cloud had originated during the previous few million years from a supernova, it probably would consist of iron-60, and so the team of researchers decided to search more recent sediments to find out. Turns out, there was iron-60 in the sediment at remarkably low levels – equating to radioactive levels in space far below Earth’s natural background levels – and the distribution of the iron-60 matched earth’s recent travel through the local interstellar cloud. But the iron-60 reached further back and was spread throughout all the 33,000-year measurement period.

The lack of correlation with the solar system’s time in the current local interstellar cloud seems to bring more questions than answers. Firstly, if the cloud was not formed by a supernova where did it come from? Some have theorised that it came from aggressive chemical reactions from distant galaxies that ended up travelling at the speed of light in all directions during the big bang. But there is no definitive evidence to support this kind of claim currently.

But secondly, why is there iron-60 so evenly spread out throughout space? A few scientists have suggested that iron-60 is a key element in the forming of a wide range of planets throughout the universe and it go there through a massive chain of gravitational pulls from different entities with high levels of mass throughout space to explain its even distribution. This is currently speculation at best, but it could provide inspiration for future research methodologies.

Other scientists say there are recent papers that suggest iron-60 trapped in dust particles might bounce around in the interstellar medium, so the iron-60 could originate from even older supernovae explosions, and what we measure is some kind of echo. One thing is for certain though, more data is required to resolve some of mysteries.

There could be potentially so many more secrets about our universe hidden in the depths of our deepest oceans. That might become more of a research focal point for astrophysicists as they attempt to uncover the origins of our universe. Even though it can sometimes feel like we are close to a unifying answer, when more research is done, more questions arise. This is only natural when attempting to quantify the extremely large and extremely small solar system mysteries.