Levitating Wirelessly Powered Lightbulb

No, there are no tricks here. This is an actual light bulb levitating in midair, which can be turned on and off. This electronic sculpture by artist Jeff Lieberman from Cambridge, Massachusetts was created for the Sonar Exhibition in Barcelona, scheduled to take place between June 14th-16th , 2007.

The levitating wirelessly-powered light-bulb is actually an improvement of an earlier version, which had somewhat diminished performance. In the new sculpture the bulb levitates roughly 2.5 inches from the nearest object. Magnetic field sensing (Hall Effect) and an electromagnet with a properly designed feedback-controller stabilize the bulb in mid air. Using a pair of coupled resonant coil windings, Lieberman created a wireless power transmission system [driven at resonance], which sends power through the air gap from electronics hidden in the top of the framing into the light bulb, which uses efficient light emitting diodes (LEDs).

Recently, we reported that researchers from MIT were able to light a 60watt light bulb wirelessly from a distance of about 2 meters. In a few-year’s time, their new wireless power transmission method may enable the charging of our cellular phones, MP3 players and laptops using wireless technology without ever worrying about running out of power.

Scientific sculptures or works of art which are meant to explore scientific concepts are nothing new. TFOT has covered several of these scientific works of art in the past, including Bernard Gitton’s gigantic Liquid-Time Sculpture, which uses a complex system of pipes and siphons, and London’s Tate Modern five-story slide.
More information on the levitating light-bulb can be found on Jeff Lieberman’s Website.