311 years ago yesterday, Ewald Georg van Kliest was born. He invented the Leyden Jar (i.e., the first capacitor).
Of course, capacitors have come a long way since then. Today's ultracapacitors (also known as "supercapacitors" or "electric double layer" [EDL] capacitors) can have 1,000,000+ times the capacitance of traditional capacitors.
Also, ultracapacitors can have 10 to 100 times the power and 1000 times the cycle life of batteries. They tend to fall short, however, when one compares the energy density of ultracapacitors to batteries.
If you have a minute, check out our video titled "What is an ultracapacitor?" on our YouTube channel (it only lasts 60 seconds). Here's a link: http://www.youtube.com/enableipc
If you want to know more about ultracapacitors and Enable IPC's technology, check out our website's write up: http://www.enableipc.com/ultracapacitors.htm
And, we have some papers and presentations available for more in-depth information: http://www.enableipc.com/papers_ultracapacitors.htm