Electro-Harmonix founder Mike Matthews has baffled fans of the company’s innovative effects pedals with a mail-out explaining how the company wants to tap into the earth’s magnetosphere in an effort to harness “a vast, continuously replenished source of energy”.
In the email announcement, Matthews says he is collaborating on the project with Robert Myer, who is best known as the designer of the Big Muff, though later enjoyed a distinguished career with telecommunications researchers, Bell Labs.
Matthews explains the potential of the magnetosphere as an energy source, saying it is “an untapped, renewable energy source with a power potential estimated by a noted NASA scientist at 690,000,000,000,000 joules (6.9 × 1014 joules).
“Molten metal flowing in the Earth’s core creates the magnetosphere, a magnetic field that extends from the Earth’s interior out into space… My esteemed colleague, Robert Myer, a renowned scientist and inventor whose career at Bell Labs produced 67 patents, has studied how to get the energy in the magnetosphere down to Earth.
“We have also scrutinized how to tap this energy above the Earth’s atmosphere where it can be used to refuel spacecraft which exhaust most of their fuel achieving orbit. This would accelerate space travel and, in the near future, make getting to Mars and back much faster.”
Matthews says that he is currently working with Myer to build a device that will help harvest the energy through “an oscillation that would begin in the magnetosphere, build, narrow down, then penetrate the ionosphere to be retrieved from almost a point source on Earth.”
He also puts out the call for partner organizations who can provide satellites in which they can house the equipment Myer has designed for building the required oscillation.
“This would conceivably be an easier first step to getting the energy 1000 miles up and provide many applications,” says Matthews. “For example, spaceships launched from earth use most of their energy to get into orbit. With this energy, those spacecrafts can be refueled. Additionally, there are numerous defense applications.”
We're not sure if this is going to support or undermine society's conviction that musicians should "get a real job", but at least if it works out, anyone who owns a Big Muff can walk around telling people, "I was an early investor."
For more information on the company's magnetosphere plans, head over to EHX.