Wireless communication using no power source, possible for sensors, medical devices, credit cards and satellites. Discusses thermodynamics and information theory.
The Conversation is an independent and nonprofit source of news, analysis and commentary from academic experts. University of Washington and Stanford University researchers recently published a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that outlines a new ultra-low-power method of communication that seems to violate the laws of physics.
This system requires no power source to be sent to the antenna, and instead uses a transistor switch to connect a resistor to the antenna. This could lead to a variety of applications, such as tiny sensors, implanted medical devices, contactless credit cards and communication between satellites.
The researchers had to explain how this system didn’t violate the second law of thermodynamics, which states that heat will flow from hotter objects to colder objects. They concluded that the receiver was powered and acted like a refrigerator, keeping the signal-carrying electrons cold. This system is more energy efficient than backscatter communication systems, but has a lower data rate and range.
The researchers hope to improve the data rate and range of their system, and also test it in applications such as implanted devices. They believe that this work could lead to new connections between thermodynamics and information theory, as well as other new forms of communication.
This research has the potential to revolutionize the way we communicate and use energy, by allowing us to send information without the need for a power source. It could enable a variety of applications and open up new possibilities in communication and thermodynamics.