On this occasion – “Broadcast Power”. The means by which electrical power can be transmitted without WIRES.
Way back before Victoria ascended the throne, Ampère and Faraday were unwittingly dabbling with the technology that could have lead to this. But Andy and Mike got sidetracked (don’t knock it – without them, we’d be watching TV by gaslight).
Thus it fell to eccentric genius Tesla to take it up. However, despite his claims to the contrary, Nik discovered its fatal flaw. It doesn’t WORK. Oh sure, you CAN send electrical power by various forms of radio. And by using laser technology, you can even DIRECT it.
But the amount of LOSS involved with transmitting energy makes it IMPRACTICAL. Wires are WAY CHEAPER. Then there are the DANGERS.
Just ask the woman in England whose loft kept catching fire, without apparent cause. The first time it happened, the fire brigade came and put it out and her insurance company paid for the damage. But when it happened again a few weeks later, questions began to be asked. Her insurance company held back payment, awaiting reports. But before those reports could be completed – it happened yet AGAIN.
THIS time the police became involved, convinced she was a NUT. Luckily, just before she got COMMITTED, the truth came out. The culprit was a communications company who had recently installed a microwave link between two towers. The pathway SHOULD have been high enough to only fry the occasional bird in flight (imagine sitting in your garden, feeling hungry, when out of a clear, blue sky…) but her house was on top of a HILL.
Anyhoo, you can see the problem. But this is not to say the technology of Broadcast Power has been totally forgotten.
Oh no, it’s in common usage. When, shortly after Vicky had fallen off the twig, Marconi developed radio, he was using it – just a low-powered version.
And when you “nuke” some food in your microwave, you’re using it.
You’re even using a form of it if you zap one of those long-grain-rice-sized “identification chips” in your pooch, or nag.
Plus, should you decide to leave a store with a high-priced item having neglected to pay for it, when the item sets off klaxons as you walk through those innocent looking pillars – it’s Broadcast Power that has nailed you.
I won’t bore you with the precise technology involved (I’m sure it’s on Wiki, if you’re really interested) suffice to say that if you put the item in an aluminium briefcase, you can thwart said technology (it’s called a Faraday Cage – which is where we came in).
So now you know why most stores insist you leave bags of any size at the information counter!