The Sun, of course, is the ultimate source of all the energy in the solar system. Without the Sun, the plants would not grow, which means that animals would not exist, which means we would have no way of getting a cheeseburger. Everyone knows that of course, but sometimes we forget that without energy from the sun even the fossil fuels would not have formed. In a sense, then, fossil fuels are also a form of solar energy. The point here of course is that they are not sustainable and they pollute the atmosphere with all sorts of harmful toxins when they burn.
The last thing you are probably expecting to read about now is toothbrushes. (Unless the picture gave you a clue!) Well, scientists are testing a solar powered toothbrush now. Of course toothbrushes have always been solar powered because we are solar powered. Without the sun food would not grow, without food we would not grow or function. So in a very real way, the energy we use to brush our teeth is solar energy. These new toothbrushes are then, we can say, doubly solar powered. They have little cells, like the ones they use for solar powered calculators.
Now, if it was just an electric toothbrush which is powered by solar energy, that would be impressive but not that big a deal. After all, just about anything has the potential to be solar powered. What is most impressive about these solar powered toothbrushes is that they do away with the need for toothpaste.
If you now have an image of beautiful rays of sunlight streaming down into the toothbrush and beaming into your mouth, so that you are literally cleaning your teeth with sunshine, then you are, quite obviously, wrong about that. Instead what happens is that the little solar panels transfer electrons to the head of the toothbrush, and these electrons form a reaction with the acid in your mouth, and this goes on to kill all the bacteria and plaque.
The toothbrush is being developed in Japan by Dr. Kunio Komiyama, who is now testing the product with volunteers. The design was actually produced fifteen years previously, but only now have they been able to make them. Successful tests on bacteria in the lab have already been carried out, showing that the toothbrushes do have the capability to do what they are supposed to do. When human subjects are introduced of course, anything can happen.
You can be sure though that we will be reporting on it if a toothbrush does hit the markets which is powered by solar energy. And if you happen to be a manufacturer of toothpaste, it might be time to start updating your resume.