Power’s in The Air

Tired Of Being Wired

If phones, mice and keyboards could get wireless. Why not everything else? In fact, about a hundred years ago, that untamed genius, Nicola Tesla had already begun to build a tower at Wardenclyffe. N.Y.to demonstrate the transmission of electricity without the use of wires.

On a humbler scale. Researchers at MIT are in the process of repeating the experiment with their own ideas and less ostentatious techniques.


Marin Soljacic. Assistant Professor of Physics at the MIT. Has spent a considerable number of years trying to figure out how to transmit power without cables. Radio waves lose too much energy during their passage through the air and lasers are constrained by the necessity of line-of-sight. Soljacic. Decided to use Resonant Coupling, in which two objects vibrating at the same frequency can exchange energy without harming things around them. He used magnetic resonance and along with his colleagues Jon Hoannopoulos and peter Fisher, succeeded in lighting up a 60 watt bulb two mattes away. What they did was this: two resonant copper coils were tied to dangle from the ceiling, two meters away from each other. Both were tuned to the same frequency and one had a light bulb attached to it. When current was made to pass through one coil, it created a magnetic field and the other resonated, generating an electric current. And then there was light. The experiment succeeded in spite of a thin screen being placed between the two copper coils.

And if this comes through…

One of the most obvious results is that we won’t have dozens of cables to trip over in our offices and rooms. Primarily, the aim of this research team is to achieve a cable-free environment wherein your laptops PDAs and mobile phones could charge themselves (with all the electricity floating around) and even, maybe, get rid of the batteries that are so much an essential part of our portable devices today. Magnetic fields interact very weakly with biological organisms and this little face makes it infinitely safer for us. While this experiment happened about a year ago. The team is still hard at work trying to use other materials so as to increase the efficiency of the transfer of power from 50 per cent to 80 per cent. Once that happens, both, the industry as well as individuals will grab hold of it and never let go.

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