Imagine charging your electric car with the very road it is driving on, as it drives. There’s a new way of charging devices wirelessly, based on fundamental physics, that works even when your device is moving away from the power source.
We already have wireless charging systems, of course – including ones that charge electric cars, but most only work when everything is still. Until now.
Testing their system with an LED bulb, researchers in the US found that their system could transfer the same amount of power when moved around up to one metre away. The bulb had consistent brightess no matter the distance between these two points.
Shanhui Fan and team created a wireless power transfer system that can achieve high-efficiency power transfer over varying distances using the principle of parity–time symmetry — a concept from quantum mechanics. They suggest their findings could be used for moving devices or vehicles, where the transfer distance and orientation can change continuously.