Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Maryland, my Maryland - Prestissimo

"Ideas are like jackrabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen."
- John Steinbeck

"They're conquering the world with arithmetic."
- Frances Flegenheimer, The Cotton Club

At the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology a group of researchers has managed to transmit electricity without the need for wires.  MIT has dubbed its work in this field of wireless electricity as Witricity:

"WiTricity is based on using coupled resonant objects. Two resonant objects of the same resonant frequency tend to exchange energy efficiently, while interacting weakly with extraneous off-resonant objects. A child on a swing is a good example of this. A swing is a type of mechanical resonance, so only when the child pumps her legs at the natural frequency of the swing is she able to impart substantial energy. Another example involves acoustic resonances: imagine a room with 100 identical wine glasses, each filled with wine up to a different level, so they all have different resonant frequencies. If an opera singer sings a sufficiently loud single note inside the room, a glass of the corresponding frequency might accumulate sufficient energy to even explode, while not influencing the other glasses. In any system of coupled resonators there often exists a so-called "strongly coupled" regime of operation. If one ensures to operate in that regime in a given system, the energy transfer can be very efficient."

Not only is this form of transmission non-polluting it also has the potential to be much more efficient and less likely to strain our aging electrical grid. Our toys get more powerful all the time. As they do, they put greater strains, not just on the grid itself, but also household wiring, causing a rise in power consumption to run the toys and keep the house cool because of the heat these toys generate. But we're a consumer society, after all, and capitalism has always served this country well.

[to be concluded in the 3rd Movement: Allegro]

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