Earlier this year, TIME named MIT Professor Donald Sadoway one of the world’s “100 most influential people” for his liquid metal battery. Yet, when placed in the hot seat on The Colbert Report last night, Sadoway was faced with a more crucial question: “Can you tell me how to get the stick-em off of a glass I buy at Crate & Barrel after I take the label off, because that stuff will survive re-entry?” (The solution? Apparently, Goo Gone.)
Colbert invited Sadoway on the show to chat about his “battery brainchild,” which, according to Colbert, looks a lot like “a very unappetizing grilled cheese sandwich.”
Be warned: liquid metal batteries are inedible. They are worth $15 million, though.
When asked what his dream for a more peaceful and prosperous world rests on, Sadoway responds:
I think a peaceful and prosperous world rests on the invention of modern, cost-affordable batteries that can store the grid, enable us to integrate such things as photovoltaic solar, wind—so that you can draw electricity from the sun even when the sun doesn’t shine. And then, in parallel, have batteries that allow us to drive cars hundreds of miles on a single charge and reduce the dependence on imported petroleum.
And when asked if his liquid metal battery is going to replace what we’re using now, Sadoway throws out a quick and definitive, “Yes.”
The conversation takes a turn for the humorous—covering everything from lemons to gajillionaires—leading Colbert to ask, “You don’t get questions like this at MIT, do you?”
To see Sadoway in action for yourself, check out the clip from The Colbert Report below.