"Goodbye wires ? MIT team experimentally demonstrates wireless power transfer, potentially useful for powering laptops, cell phones without cords."
That was the MIT news release. And there was flood of news about this new technology.
We moved one step closer to a world where plugging in your laptop, cell phone, iPod, and even a lamp for power is no longer required. Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a wireless electricity called "WiTricity" that can transmit electricity wirelessly. (from PC world)
But many people think differently. They claim this is not a new invention but it was already invented a century back by Nikola Tesla. You can see Tesla's demonstration of "the transmission of electrical energy without wires" in 1891 in this photo and it is explained in this wikipedia page.
But it is also true that the invention was not implemented in the real world. With whatever I have read and learnt, it is clear that WiTricity concept is not recreation of Tesla principle either. This small clip Tesla - The Lost Wizard - A brief biography on the brilliant inventor, Nikola Tesla from History Channel would be very nice addition:
The following article implies that Tesla had to abort the research due to lack of funds.
...After paying off his investors, Tesla spent his remaining funds on his other inventions and culminated his efforts in a major breakthrough in 1899 at Colorado Springs by transmitting 100 million volts of high-frequency electric power wirelessly over a distance of 26 miles at which he lit up a bank of 200 light bulbs and ran one electric motor! With this souped up version of his Tesla coil, Tesla claimed that only 5% of the transmitted energy was lost in the process. But broke of funds again, he looked for investors to back his project of broadcasting electric power in almost unlimited amounts to any point on the globe. The method he would use to produce this wireless power was to employ the earth's own resonance with its specific vibrational frequency to conduct AC electricity via a large electric oscillator...
Tesla was not alone in the pursue of wireless electricity.
...One British inventor, H. Grindell-Matthews, actually demonstrated his "mystery ray" apparatus in 1924 to a Popular Science Monthly writer in London (See: Pop. Sci. Monthly, Aug. 1924, P. 33). When his beam was directed toward the magneto system of a gasoline engine, it stopped the system. Afterwards, it ignited gun powder, lit an electric lamp bulb from a distance and killed a mouse in seconds! Grindell-Matthews said the secret was involved with the "carrier beam" he used to conduct a high-voltage, low-frequency electrical current. During 1936, Guglielmo Marconi experimented with extremely low frequency (ELF) waves and displayed their exceptional ability to penetrate metallic shielding. These waves could affect electrical devices, overload circuits and cause machines like generators, electric motors and automobiles to stall. Diesel engines, which do not rely on electrical ignition, were not affected. Mysteriously, Marconi's research on the subject was never found after the war.
One comment in one of the news article goes like "... it is true that Tesla is almost completely ignored by the media and by schools. All I was taught in my physics class was that Tesla invented the Tesla coil. Is it a conspiracy? Or are our teachers and media just bone-stupid?" Some say in Tesla experiment "electricity was conducted through the earth, with a small portion of it making the return link through the air".
But whatever may be the case, no-one had even attempted to recreate it and these snake-pile of wires are still plying beside my computer. At least those MIT guys have started it again. Hats off to the MIT team!
Source/links: Tesla wireless | Telsa Page in wikipedia | MIT page | wikipedia witricity
Tags: witricity, telsa, wireless, electricity