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Bam! Science Inspired by Superheroes

By Eric Roston - 2013-12-17T14:48:54Z

Photograph by Columbia Pictures/Everett Collection

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The Tesseract looks like a small box of light, and provides unlimited power to whomever possesses it. 

Energy storage remains a challenging area of research, which is why battery technology lags other fields, like solar production or wind turbine design.

Scientists are making progress on experimental materials that can store tremendous amounts of energy. Research at Washington State University has demonstrated that in high-pressure, high-temperature conditions similar to those halfway down to the Earth’s core, a compound called xenon diflouride essentially freezes mechanical energy into a dense network of chemical bonds. The trick would be then retrieving it in a controlled manner. 

Left: The Avengers, 2012.