VOLKER STEGER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY VOLKER STEGER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Micro-engine research. Researcher using a magnifying glass to study the rotor of a tiny rotary internal combustion engine (Wankel engine). This is part of the smallest engine ever made. It is hoped that it could be used to power devices such as laptop computers and digital cameras. The engine produces 2.5 watts (W) of electricity, although it is hoped refinements will increase this output to up to 30W. A Wankel engine has a rotor instead of cylinders and pistons. This engine was designed at the Mechanical Engineering Machine Shop at the University of California at Berkeley, USA. The team hope to fashion a much smaller version of this engine on a silicon chip.
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