There are way too many technological beauties out there that we find useful, but the overheating part is indeed annoying and can jeopardize their functionality. That’s why searching for ways of cooling down our “toys” is practically mandatory.
Phys.org writes about a remarkable discovery of a team of physicists from CU Boulder that has the potential of lending a hand to those who are willing to develop electronic devices that don’t overheat too much.
The nano realm sheds light
The new discovery consists of the fact that it was finally found the secret behind the faster cooling down of heat sources while they’re packed closer together. The research has its origins way back in 2015 when some scientists were analyzing bars of metal a lot of times thinner than a human hair on a silicon base. An unexpected situation occurred when they heated the bars using a laser. It was observed that the nano-scale heat sources cool down a lot faster when they’re packed closer together.
Computer-based simulations unveiled the mystery. What happens is that when the heat sources are positioned closer to each other, the vibrations of energy that are produced begin to bounce off each other. This disperses the heat away and cools down the bars.
Joshua Knobloch, who is a co-author of the study and also a postdoctoral research associate at JILA, declared as quoted by Phys.org:
Often, heat is a challenging consideration in designing electronics. You build a device then discover that it’s heating up faster than desired,
Our goal is to understand the fundamental physics involved so we can engineer future devices to efficiently manage the flow of heat.
The findings were published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).