In an experiment to charge a phone using lightning, scientists have inadvertently recreated the concept of Mary Shelley’s science fiction novel, Frankenstein.
Many people know the story of Frankenstein, the 19th century science fiction novel by Mary Shelley, in which Doctor Victor Frankenstein attempts to reanimate a corpse through the help of science, but few know the actual method behind what goes on in the book. In the tale, Frankenstein (the doctor) brings Frankenstein’s monster (the name of his corpse creation) to life by harnessing the power of lightning. Of its time, the process of using lightning in such a way was considered unusual and peculiar, but now, in a similar attempt to power things with bad weather, scientists have successfully charged a phone using a flash of lightning.
Working with mobile a team of scientists from the University of Southampton have managed to both recreate a lightning bolt from their laboratory but charge the phone with it too. With the help of an electrical transformer (a component of electrical circuits) the team passed 200,000 volts of electricity across a gap of 30 centimetres (12 inches). Neil Palmer, from the University of Southampton’s high voltage laboratory, was surprised of the success of the reality of the nearly 200 year old concept saying that “We were amazed to see that the Nokia circuitry somehow stabilised the noisy signal, allowing the battery to be charged,”. Meanwhile, Chris Weber, executive vice-president for sales at Nokia, supported the research, but encouraged users not to try the experiment at home “We obviously aren’t recommending people try this experiment at home, but we are always looking to disrupt and push the boundaries of technology,”.
While the experiment may be considered as dangerous by some, others are suggesting that this could be a real revolution in powering gadgets as fuel and electricity prices continues to soar. I also means that people in remote areas, or in locations where they’re not connected to their national electricity grid (or in places where such a thing does not exist) will be able to power their electronics too. Palmer continued to say that “This discovery proves devices can be charged with a current that passes through the air, and is a huge step towards understanding a natural power like lightning and harnessing its energy.” so we could very well just see more lightning powered gadgets yet.
We’ll keep you posted once we know more.