A team of scientists from Washington are on the verge of a scientific breakthrough. They have used lasers to cool down water.
We all known how annoying it can be when we’re working on the PC and then he decides to shut down due to overheating. Imagine what that does to your gameplay and to all the work you weren’t able to save. What if I told you that scientists are working on something that will solve this issue for good?
The scientific team, led by Doctor Paden Roder, have successfully used an infrared laser in order to cool down a glass of water. The liquid’s temperature was lowered by approximately 36 degrees Celsius. This is considered to be a major breakthrough in the field of optical physics because this is the first time that a cooling beam went from theory into practice.
The concept of cooling beam is not something new. Scientists have struggled for many years to use lasers in order to cool down materials instead of heating them. Water is known to heat up once it is illuminated.
But with some ingenuity and a lot of visits to the whiteboard, it seems that the effort has paid off. Peter Pauzauskie, as assistant professor, and co-author for the study explained how the actual process works. In order to chill down water, you need a couple of things: a blue-shifted infrared laser and a nanocrystal.
The nanocrystal would be dropped in the liquid, eagerly awaiting to be chilled. Then, the infrared laser would target the said nanocrystal, exciting the atoms in it. What is happens is that the photons emanated by the laser will be absorbed by the crystal. When the photon is released again, it has the capacity of dissipating the heat, thus cooling down both liquid and crystal.
The use of lasers to cool down water can have numerous applications in all field of study. For example, tiny laser beams could be integrated into computer components, such as microprocessors and GPU’s, in order to cool them down once they become overheated. Also this technique would also benefit medicine. Scientist could use the process in order to develop certain non-invasive procedures in order to study the brain.
The cooler beam could also be used to slow down cell division, in order to study the process more carefully.
Alas, as any new piece of technology, the cooler beam still needs major improvements in size and power consumption, before they will be commercially available.