Tech. Science. Culture.
We may earn a commission from links on this page

MIT Dudes Develop Mind-Boggling Wireless Electricity

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

Now those eggheads at MIT have done something truly magic, figuring out a way to send power seven feet away, and look ma, no wires. Their trick uses resonant coupling, turning electricity into magnetic energy resonating at a certain frequency that proved to have that old black magic.

For some reason, 10MHz is that certain magic number. Resonating a coil at that frequency on one side of the room, it sends its magneto-goodness over to the other side where there's another coil that also resonates at that same 10MHz frequency. Yeah, for some strange reason, this magnetic energy is able to jump across a 7-foot space, but only at that specific 10MHz frequency. Cool.

There must be a catch to this.

For one thing, the power is transferred with 45% efficiency, which won't exactly be energy-saving. Also, with all those techno-power magnetic waves floating around, some crackpots will be tempted to get out their tinfoil hats, and those who believe that magnets can have profoundly dangerous effects on the human body will also be getting pretty jittery.


Never mind all that, say the genius researchers, who declare the power transmission safe, even for pacemaker wearers. They admit it might be a few years before we see this jaw-dropping tech in general use, but this is a start. They've proven that the idea works, and now they just going to need to perfect it. Wireless electricity? Whoa.


A Wirelessly Powered Lightbulb [Technology Review, via BBC News]