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[Ars] Laser cooling of semiconductors by annihilating excitations

post #1 of 10
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Originally Posted by Source 
The process of cooling materials to cryogenic temperatures is often expensive and messy. One successful method is laser cooling, where photons interact with the atoms in some way to dampen their motion. While laser cooling of gases has been standard procedure for many years, solids are another issue entirely. Success has only come with a few specially prepared materials.

Having a laser annihilate something isn't usually associated with chilling anything down. But a new experiment reduced the temperature of a semiconductor by about 40°C using a laser. Jun Zhang, Dehui Li, Renjie Chen, and Qihua Xiong exploited a particular type of electronic excitation: when the photons interacted with this excitation, they canceled it out, damping the thermal fluctuations in the material

Nifty thumb.gif
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post #2 of 10
Someone start R&D on an 1155 spec laser cooler stat!
thumb.gif
post #3 of 10
"Successful laser cooling was achieved in glasses—solids without an ordered, coherent crystal structure—by embedding rare-earth atoms in the matrix. "

I need to buy stock in rare-earth atoms like yesterday lol
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post #4 of 10
Mr.Freeze called. He wants his gun back tongue.gif



Seriously though. What a neat discovery. Never imagined this was even possible.
    
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post #5 of 10
Nifty.

Hopefully they will find a practical and viably useful reason for this technology. thumb.gif
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post #6 of 10
It's so funny that China doesn't have as big a rare earth reserve (relative to other countries or mre specifically the USA), here's a tip for you fine gentlemen south our border (USA) update your thorium regulations and you will be able to break the chains of chinese rare earth supply.
post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bit_reaper View Post

Mr.Freeze called. He wants his gun back tongue.gif



Seriously though. What a neat discovery. Never imagined this was even possible.

I can't help but notice the ice beam not coming out the center of the barrel. tongue.gif

If they can figure out how they had cool materials to cryogenic temperatures at a low cost, maybe superconductivity could be a reality for things such as our power lines. We lose tons of energy due to resistance in the cables. Making the cables superconductive will eliminate this resistance and loss of energy.
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post #8 of 10
It's cool, no pun intended. And I'm sure it works. But energy cannot be destroyed. So my question is where does the excess energy go, that would normally have turned into heat? It must turn into something else, but what?
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post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by wedge View Post

It's cool, no pun intended. And I'm sure it works. But energy cannot be destroyed. So my question is where does the excess energy go, that would normally have turned into heat? It must turn into something else, but what?

Its just a transfer of entropy outside the system. Creating the laser beam requires that electrons be moved through a medium, which will release heat into the environment one way or another either by the medium or through the wires. Creating the electrons at the power source initially also released heat and entropy. Energy is still conserved and entropy increases as always, but the laser itself doesn't need to create excess energy where it makes contact with the surface. Essentially it "Absorbs" thermal energy, and the re emits it.
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post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by serp777 View Post

Its just a transfer of entropy outside the system. Creating the laser beam requires that electrons be moved through a medium, which will release heat into the environment one way or another either by the medium or through the wires. Creating the electrons at the power source initially also released heat and entropy. Energy is still conserved and entropy increases as always, but the laser itself doesn't need to create excess energy where it makes contact with the surface. Essentially it "Absorbs" thermal energy, and the re emits it.

Magic. Got it.
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