Friday, June 08, 2007

Nihil novi sub soli

There's nothing new under the sun? Well everything old is new again to the empty head but short distance power transfer using alternating or fluctuating magnetic fields is about 200 years old. Run an AC current through one coil of wire and you induce a current in another coil of wire. Michael Faraday figured that out in the early 19th century and the wireless transmission of power using magnetic or electromagnetic fields has been a popular subject in science magazines ever since people started to distribute electricity. That was a long time ago. Still, we live in the days of i-Ignorance and the popular press is running wild with stories about an amazing way to charge your i-Pod and other instruments of i-Idiocy using Faraday's wonderful discovery.

I have to laugh. I've been interested in and a collector of early communications technology for 50 years and I have books showing detailed plans for a short distance, magnetically coupled wireless telephone dated about a hundred years ago, using this same "breakthrough." It works. Of course people in those days were a lot less hip and they just called it what it was: electromagnetism. Nobody had the audacity to invent a term like WiTricity and probably would have been tossed down a well if they had.

The cruel joke has it that the benefit of Alzheimer's is that you meet new people every day. The same goes for being a young, with-it, "into electronics" consumodroid too. Everything old is new.


Crankyboy said...

i-wonder if my new iPhone will have WiTricity. i-hope so. i-love having the lastest most advanced inventions from Apple. They invented everything didn't they? i-read that on the internet.

Capt. Fogg said...

Not to be left out, Microsoft has just introduced WiNdor plumbing. Now you don't have to go in the woods.

It's the latest.

d nova said...

does this xplain how wars spread across borders?

Capt. Fogg said...

Wars are too old fashioned.iWars are much better because the tanks and planes come in trendy colors and you can download background music from iTunes. It doesn't spread because you can just turn it off when you're bored.