Filled Under: Science is Neat
Because none of my relatives have been able to shut up about it for the past few days. And, come to think of it, neither have I. Wireless Electricity. It's one of those things I figured was coming, sooner or later, but never thought I'd actually see implemented in my lifetime.
Couple things. My cousin, something of a research scientist, informs me that there are devices out there, now, that are basically pads you can rest your cellphone or laptop on to recharge them. No plugs, no wires. Not quite transmitting through the air but still wicked cool.
Second, my uncle, something of an electrician, wondered what would happen if you happened to walk between the wireless charges with, say, a piece of copper or an aluminum sheet. I expect he was thinking fireworks – like putting something metal in the microwave. However, looking through things, I think he needn't worry too much. It, as I understand it, works on the principle of resonance. One coil will, in essence, vibrate, and another coil tuned to it will pick up that vibration and through the wonder of science (Something about tunneling electromagnetic waves and other stuff that makes my head explode because I don't really understand it.) that builds up voltage – the difference in electrical potential, roughly analogous to water pressure. The real awesome aspect of this technique is in the far field. Outside of the area of effect, the field created is magnetic and not electrical. In other words, harmless.