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Energy out of thin air, or harvesting Wi-Fi for power

Energy out of thin air, or harvesting Wi-Fi for power

The whole idea of charging wirelessly is one of these science fiction dreams. It turns out, there’s a way it may be possible, by using the Wi-Fi you already have all around you.

The work on this is happening at MIT. The short version is, Wi-Fi emits electromagnetic waves with a frequency somewhere between microwaves and infrared light, called T-waves.

Physicists at MIT have come up with plans for a device they believe would be able to convert ambient terahertz waves into DC, the low voltage electricity that powers many household electronics.

Terahertz waves are pervasive in our daily lives, and if harnessed, their concentrated power could potentially serve as an alternate energy source. Imagine, for instance, a cellphone add-on that passively soaks up ambient T-rays and uses their energy to charge your phone.

Physicists at MIT have come up with plans for a device they believe would be able to convert ambient terahertz waves into DC, the low voltage electricity that powers many household electronics.

The plan takes graphene and combines it with boron nitride to skew the motion of the electrons in one direction, to make DC.

If you got your hopes amped up about charging your phone, I’m sorry. The power demands of the phone versus what this in its current form will generate are probably a big mismatch. But someday, it might just be the jolt we need.

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