180 Years and Counting — How Long Can the World's Most Durable Battery Last?


Most of us would be hard-pressed to get through an entire day without charging our smartphone's battery at least once, but there’s a battery that’s been continuously ringing two bells for 180 years now, but nobody knows exactly how it’s lasted so long. In the mid-1800s, Robert Walker, a physics professor at the University of Oxford, acquired an interesting device. It was a battery designed to propel a hanging metal ball quickly back and forth, between two small bells. Today, the Oxford Electric Bell is still ringing and is said to have rung over 10 billion times. How exactly the world’s most durable battery has functioned so long is a mystery, and it’s a mystery that won’t be solved until it stops and we can find out exactly what’s inside. Fortunately, the bell isn’t dinging like some possessed alarm clock. It’s actually barely audible because the charge is so low. For now, the contraption stands as the “longest running science experiment.”