REPORT: Bill Gates files patent for electromagnetic generator, plasma injector
Also on the patent filing is a design for a "plasma injector." Ostensibly a replacement for a spark plug, the plasma injector would kick off "a chemical reaction" (think: combustion cycle) that would be required to get the piston moving in the first place. It's all rather interesting stuff, and if you've got an hour or two (or ten) to digest it, click here.
[Source: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office via Jalopnik]
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