A physicist and an inventor

Monday, May 14, 2012 - 03:30 in Physics & Chemistry

As a boy growing up in Croatia, Marin Soljacic wanted to be an inventor. But he wasn’t interested only in designing new products; he wanted to discover physical phenomena that would enable completely new technologies.In that, Soljacic has succeeded remarkably. With others at MIT, he developed a way to transmit power wirelessly — a technology that might soon allow people to charge their cellphones, computers and even electric cars without ever having to plug them in. His work on photonic crystals, which can alter the behavior of light, could lead to a variety of novel applications, including more efficient ways to capture solar and thermal energy, faster optical communications and novel light sources.“As a child I always dreamed about inventing machines. But when I started taking computer science classes, physics classes and engineering classes, I realized that what I found most exciting was when new physics enables new applications,” says...

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