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"In 1970 I found little difficulty staying 30 years ahead of the man in the street, and now I find it difficult to stay 18 months ahead of the man on the street."
- Vernor Vinge

Electric-Space-Strain Projector  
  Device enables the wireless transmission of power.  

Aarn pushed a second standard into view, which was surmounted by a metal bowl that closely resembled a deep soup dish. The inner surface was evidently a parabolic one, made up of a maze of tiny coils, each oriented carefully toward some definite aim, while the entire rim of the "soup dish" was a single larger coil. Carefully Aarn adjusted it so that it pointed toward the flickering cage of copper wires, and beyond it to the apparatus at the other end of the bench. This apparatus seemed fairly simple, merely a number of standards with various arrangements of wires. Two parallel copper bars, a double spiral made of two insulated wires, two metal disks.

"Those," said Aarn softly, "are simply connected with the normal power supply. It is alternating current of sixty cycles at two hundred and twenty volts. The device I have is a pickup. It will collect the power from those wires. The projector here is the real secret-it makes space itself become a perfect conductor of electric-space-strain. Not electricity. Electric-space-strain. But the result is the same. It makes the space along its axis capable of carrying power along the axis-and along the axis only. When I start this, the space between here and that interrupter coil back there will be come a perfect conductor. The interrupter coil is necessary to prevent the thing reaching on, out indefinitely..."

From The Mightiest Machine, by John W. Campbell.
Published by Astounding Science-Fiction in 1934
Additional resources -

See this article on the radiant power receptor from Robert Heinlein's Waldo for more discussion of wireless power transmission.

Thanks to Winchell Chung for suggesting this item (and providing the quote!).

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Mightiest Machine
  More Ideas and Technology by John W. Campbell
  Tech news articles related to The Mightiest Machine
  Tech news articles related to works by John W. Campbell

Electric-Space-Strain Projector-related news articles:
  - Intel Wireless Power Transmission

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