Physics Spotlight  
John Joannopoulos and a colleague pioneered the early work for wireless cell phone charging. Photo: Len RubensteinJohn Joannopoulos and a colleague pioneered the early work for wireless cell phone charging. Photo: Len Rubenstein

Charging Ahead: A New Method for Wireless Power Transfer

New study identifies the promise and challenges facing large-scale deployment of solar photovoltaics.

Elizabeth Dougherty | MIT Spectrum
Spring 2015

ONE MORNING, Marin Soljačić walked into the office of fellow MIT professor John Joannopoulos. Soljačić was weary: his wife had forgotten to charge her cell phone, and it had buzzed them awake. Again.

“Can’t this thing charge itself?” he asked Joannopoulos. The two, both MIT physicists, immediately began sketching ideas for a wireless charging solution on the blackboard.