You’ve probably heard of ‘wireless power’, but disregarded it as myth or mombojombo. In fact, wireless power and wireless charging is teetering on the tipping point of reality. Currently there are a few pads that charge cell phones and MP3 players, but they require a retrofitting for them to work, not to mention they need to be placed directly on top of the pad to charge. True wireless charging on the other hand should be spoken of in feet, not centimeters, and some MIT smarty pants are doing just that.
It all started when Marin Soljačić, an assistant professor of physics at MIT was awoken by an incessant beeping. It was his cell phone (probably a Nokia) calling out in need of a battery charge. It was then that Marin began his search to develop wireless power. He had to find a a transmission tool that wouldn’t be harmful to humans and wouldn’t lose the majority of it’s energy like so many wireless technologies do. What he stumbled on was ‘magnetic resonance’, which are essentially magnetic fields. Marin and a team working together eventually were able to power a 60-watt light bulb wirelessly through a thin wall.
“The researchers built two resonant copper coils and hung them from the ceiling, about two meters apart. When they plugged one coil into the wall, alternating current flowed through it, creating a magnetic field. The second coil, tuned to the same frequency and hooked to a light bulb, reso nated with the magnetic field, generating an electric current that lit up the bulb–even with a thin wall between the coils.”
More info here.
Wireless charging diagram/example after the ‘leap’.
Wireless Light (below is courtesy of Technologyreview.com)
Marin Soljačić and colleagues used magnetic resonance coupling to power a 60-watt light bulb. Tuned to the same frequency, two 60-centimeter copper coils can transmit electricity over a distance of two meters, through the air and around an obstacle.
1. Resonant copper coil attached to frequency converter and plugged into outlet
2. Wall outlet
4. Resonant copper coil attached to light bulb