Thermal Cloaks To Keep You CoolCategory: Science & Technology
Posted: March 26, 2012 05:58PM
There has been a fair amount of news in the past decade about invisibility cloaks which bend waves around objects. These waves could be light waves, sound waves, or even seismic and ocean waves, but they are all waves. Can more than just waves be directed around objects, to hide them? As being reported by the Optical Society of America in their Optics Express journal, researchers have found a way to make a thermal cloak.
Heat does not propagate like a wave; instead it diffuses and the math involved is very different. Still, the researchers applied the math that says invisibility cloaks can work and found it should be possible to make a thermal cloak. The researchers tested a two-dimensional approach to this and successfully kept an area from heating up, even though the heat diffused to around it.
The researchers are now working on creating prototype thermal cloaks for microelectronics. Imagine being able to cloak parts of your computer so they cannot heat up while everything around it does. The prototypes could be finished within a few months.