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Manipulating Heat Like Light

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the next-step-heat-lasers dept.

Science 82

An anonymous reader writes "A new technique allows allows 'thermocrystals' to be created that can manipulate heat (a vibration of the atomic lattice of a material). Predicted manipulations include the ability to selectively transmit, reflect or concentrate heat much like light waves can be manipulated by lenses and mirrors. 'Heat differs from sound, he explains, in the frequency of its vibrations: Sound waves consist of lower frequencies (up to the kilohertz range, or thousands of vibrations per second), while heat arises from higher frequencies (in the terahertz range, or trillions of vibrations per second).' Applications range from better thermoelectric devices to switchable heat insulating/transmitting materials (abstract). Perhaps this will result in better cooling/heating mechanisms or more efficient engines."

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Allows allows (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42563051)

It's a shame there isn't a new technique that allows allows silly typos in summaries to be corrected before publishing.

Re:Allows allows (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42563121)

Or annul useless posts by pedantic kill-joys before they can be posted.
Just talkin' one AC to another here.

Re:Allows allows (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42563327)

Or annul useless posts by pedantic kill-joys before they can be posted.
Just talkin' one AC to another here.

Or axe murder pedantic pedant kill-joys before they can be pedantic about a fucking elementary school editing mistake in the fucking summary.

Just talkin' one AC shill to another shill here.

FTFY

Re:Allows allows (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42563381)

Or axe murder pedantic pedant kill-joys before they can be pedantic about a fucking elementary school editing mistake in the fucking summary.

Sounds like you need to get laid.

Does "heat" really require definition ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42563071)

"heat (a vibration of the atomic lattice of a material)" no shit sherlock...

Re:Does "heat" really require definition ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42563129)

https://www.google.com/#hl=en&q=define:heat&oq=define:heat&fp=335da4acf777e25 [google.com]

It helps distinguish that we are talking about the noun form, rather than the verb form.

Re:Does "heat" really require definition ? (0)

YodasEvilTwin (2014446) | about 2 years ago | (#42563211)

You can only manipulate things (i.e., nouns). It does nothing to help distinguish it since it's already perfectly clear.

Re:Does "heat" really require definition ? (1)

sFurbo (1361249) | about 2 years ago | (#42569715)

It is ambiguous, though I can't see why a process for controlling female animal breeding behaviour should be "news for nerds".

Re:Does "heat" really require definition ? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42563169)

you feel smart now?

Re:Does "heat" really require definition ? (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 2 years ago | (#42563281)

Uneducated as I must be, I at first assumed they were talking about infra-red radiation, and so I was duly enlightened.

Re:Does "heat" really require definition ? (2)

skids (119237) | about 2 years ago | (#42565607)

That's what I read into the distinction as well. Of course, they could have just said "thermal phonons".

Re:Does "heat" really require definition ? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42563319)

So thinks he's a rocket scientist, explain how space with no atomic lattice can radiate heat at a temperature of 2.7K?

Re:Does "heat" really require definition ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42563361)

Oh, until I read the definition I was thinking of that movie [imdb.com]

THERMOPTICS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42566547)

What do we call this new approach, anyway?

Thermoptics?

Could they redirect only a certain hotness? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42563175)

Maxwell's Demon?

Re:Could they redirect only a certain hotness? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42563585)

Perhaps they require energy input to redirect the hotness.

Re:Could they redirect only a certain hotness? (4, Informative)

radtea (464814) | about 2 years ago | (#42563611)

No.

They first have to select specific wavelengths and then--it sounds like--frequency-shift them.

To call this "heat" is a deliberately misleading statement designed to elicit precisely the question you are asking, as that will attract much more of our most limited resource--attention--to this otherwise interesting but essentially esoteric work.

"Heat" in ordinary parlance is constituted by vibrational modes that obey the principle of equipartition, which this "heat" manifestly does not.

Re:Could they redirect only a certain hotness? (1)

Zorpheus (857617) | about 2 years ago | (#42563881)

Terahertz [wikipedia.org] technology is an interesting research topic, but it is not about heat.

Re:Could they redirect only a certain hotness? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42564653)

So essentially it's now ok to overload semantics in scientific writings ?!
I just invented* a safe** and practical*** form of cold-fusion****.

* stole
** for non sentient life forms outside of solar system
*** for the purpose of filling my bank account
**** relative to the sun, not so much to the atmosphere...

This is precisely why C++ sucks Afro-Caucasian***** balls.

***** chocolate milk ice cream.

Re:Could they redirect only a certain hotness? (1)

guises (2423402) | about 2 years ago | (#42565721)

So... if I select out a certain wavelength of light then it isn't proper to call it light anymore? Come on, if you're using common parlance then "heat" really just means "thermal energy" anyway. This may be a little esoteric, but I could see this developing into a lot of potential applications.

I'll grant that this isn't breaking news for most people, but as science reporting goes this is pretty good. It's better than another fad diet or fish oil bullshit story.

Re:Could they redirect only a certain hotness? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42566893)

Actually, once you've selected out a particular wavelength, you've increased the energy's order (decreased it's entropy) by sorting it.... therefore, it is no longer really "heat energy". It would still be considered light though. Is light not still light even after it's passed through your rose-tinted eye wear?

And the energy they refer as light is just the energy "in flight" in "the field" - there's also the energy in the Motion of the matter which is hot (ie, sound). This last can have many different ways of expression beyond just "frequency". These different ways are different degrees of freedom, and once heat energy density is high enough, it always finds a way to create more. For example, adding more atoms to a molecule increases the number of unique modes with which it can shake about... so heat capacity (energy per temperature change) generally depends on molecular complexity. The material with the lowest heat capacity is also the simplest.

Heat energy is essentially this mess of phonons (when in crystals, at least - "degrees of freedom" in other things - we generally just use empirical figures for the total heat capacity at this point) and photons with no particular order in it - and so maximal entropy. Any attempt to sort it out will most likely cost you negentropy - ie, an increase in entropy elsewhere in the universe, equivalent to "using up" an energy resource. Heat energy is "waste" because any high-disorder (high entropy) resource is generally considered waste because it takes neg-entropic work to sort and reorder it.

I say "most likely" because although thermodynamics has never been "caught out" - we live in hope, we'd really love to. It is literally the science that defines the limits of what we can do - even if it says nothing about how.

This work is fairly ground-breaking because it shows manipulation heat energy in a way we've not known before. Thermal diodes imply possibly more efficient ways of "switching" the flow of heat - and this means more efficient heat pumps / heat exchangers. This is of HUGE import to engineering! Even a relatively small improvement can help things: most of our gear for handling heat is far less efficient than it theoretically *could* be - even without crossing thermodynamic theory. So this work is about HOW to manipulate at least *some* "heat".

Re:Could they redirect only a certain hotness? (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about 2 years ago | (#42571759)

And the energy they refer as light is just the energy "in flight" in "the field" - there's also the energy in the Motion of the matter which is hot (ie, sound). This last can have many different ways of expression beyond just "frequency". These different ways are different degrees of freedom, and once heat energy density is high enough, it always finds a way to create more. For example, adding more atoms to a molecule increases the number of unique modes with which it can shake about... so heat capacity (energy per temperature change) generally depends on molecular complexity. The material with the lowest heat capacity is also the simplest.

Ummm... what? Heat capacity per what? If it's "per mass" - no, it isn't (hydrogen - 14.30 J/g/K, helium- 5.1932, paraffin wax - C25H52 - 2.5 J/g/k). If it is "per mol" - then it's true that more complex molecules will store more thermal energy in the "vibrational degrees of freedom".

This work is fairly ground-breaking because it shows manipulation heat energy in a way we've not known before. Thermal diodes imply possibly more efficient ways of "switching" the flow of heat - and this means more efficient heat pumps / heat exchangers.

The relevant word (missing from your statement above) is "some" - as in "some heat energy" or "the flow of some heat". And is relevant because there's a bit of way until the second law of thermodynamics is "repealed" (the one that says "Entropy will always increase"): if "all the heat flow" could be controlled, we wouldn't be far from a second type of perpetual motion machine.

Re:Could they redirect only a certain hotness? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42568067)

"Heat" in ordinary parlance is constituted by vibrational modes that obey the principle of equipartition, which this "heat" manifestly does not.

First off, the equipartition theorem only applies to systems in thermal equilibrium. If all of thermodynamics and "heat" only applied to systems in thermal equilibrium, it would be a really boring and pointless field.

Second, the equipartition theorem also requires ergodicity, that all energy can be exchanged by all the similar states easy enough. If they are creating structures that that isolate phonons or restrict their movement in some direction, this will requirement will fail. Additionally, if they are manipulating phonons, the energy continuum may not be continuous, which also messes up the equipartition theorem.

There is more to statistical mechanics and thermodynamics than the equipartition theorem though, so that doesn't mean it is not appropriate to call it heat.

CARNOT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42566535)

So what does this do to Carnot's Law?

Does it sort of make it irrelevant?
Can it overcome the constraints of Carnot's Law? (which is what the original article posting implies)

Or can this new approach only function within the limits of Carnot's Law?

A bit late (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42563213)

Napolean already gave Fourier the patent on that.

Re:A bit late (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 2 years ago | (#42563933)

Napolean already gave Fourier the patent on that.

But this version is transformative! And Faster!

Low-heat electricity generation (2)

brentonboy (1067468) | about 2 years ago | (#42563257)

I wonder if you could use this to concentrate low levels of heat and generate electricity from it. Not only would you be able to get energy out of (almost) nothing, (albeit, probably not much), but you could cool an area without producing a lot of waste heat.

Re:Low-heat electricity generation (3, Informative)

jonbryce (703250) | about 2 years ago | (#42563609)

No, because it would violate the 2nd law of thermodynamics.

Re:Low-heat electricity generation (1, Funny)

brentonboy (1067468) | about 2 years ago | (#42563641)

No, because it would violate the 2nd law of thermodynamics.

Does the 2nd law of thermodynamics not apply to a steam generator?

Re:Low-heat electricity generation (2)

marcosdumay (620877) | about 2 years ago | (#42563869)

Concentrating heat and then using it to do work violates the second law of thermodynamics.

If you can concentrate heat, it must be in a setup that would makes a thermal machine not work.

Re:Low-heat electricity generation (2)

jonbryce (703250) | about 2 years ago | (#42566259)

You can concentrate heat and use it to run a thermal machine. However it will require more work to concentrate the heat than you will get out of the thermal machine.

Re:Low-heat electricity generation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42568005)

but even with the outside source of energy, will the energy produced be less then running a traditional heat exchanger. Maybe this could lead to a massive boost vs liquid heat exchangers and peltier coolers.

Re:Low-heat electricity generation (1)

jonbryce (703250) | about 2 years ago | (#42568365)

We are at about 90% efficiency for them, so not really.

Re:Low-heat electricity generation (1)

jonbryce (703250) | about 2 years ago | (#42566255)

Yes, in that a steam generator is able to capture energy from the transfer of heat from a hot area to cold area and uses it to do work.

Re:Low-heat electricity generation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42568987)

Right so if you can concentrate low levels of heat from a warmer area to a colder area, you get a chance to make electricity. There are small temperature fluctuations all the time in tins of places.

Thermodynamics (1)

gd2shoe (747932) | about 2 years ago | (#42565153)

It's only a "law" because we do not yet know how to break it.

I, for one, look forward to the day (year, century...) when we decide that it's an obsolete principle. Until we actually know all the rules of the game, all the interactions, all the api of the universe... we cannot know that anything is truly a "law of physics". We can speculate, postulate, investigate, narrow-in-on, or disprove, but never really affirm.

(Which is not to say that this specific mechanism shows any promise, just that some mechanism might exist in the future.)

Re:Low-heat electricity generation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42568397)

from TFA:
"The crystals could also be used to create thermal diodes: materials in which heat can pass in one direction, but not in the reverse direction."

Re:Low-heat electricity generation (1)

tinkerton (199273) | about 2 years ago | (#42567721)

You can imagine a setup with a black body radiator and a theoretical lense and attempt to focus the black body radiation to heat another object to a higher temperature than the original black body. And it is not possible. The laws of thermodynamics apply of course but they don't explain the why. If you go through the motions and try to calculate how hot you can get the second object you find you can't get it hot enough. You can't focus the radiation to make it hotter.

Fusion! A/C, Sterling (4, Interesting)

snadrus (930168) | about 2 years ago | (#42563283)

How did this one get missed? Fusion's biggest problem is heat management.
Thermal Diodes: Hook this to a solar collecting sterling engine for a considerable performance boost.
That sounds like passive Heating & Air conditioning. Maybe society will use technology to reduce its power consumption overall.

Re:Fusion! A/C, Sterling (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42563353)

Thermal Diodes:
Hook this to a solar collecting sterling engine for a considerable performance boost.

It's not spelled with an "e".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stirling_engine

Hook up a fact checker to your computer for a considerable writing performance boost.

Re:Fusion! A/C, Sterling (1)

Guignol (159087) | about 2 years ago | (#42567235)

A sterling engine is a mechanism that allow British scientists to claim that thanks to this new discovery fusion is now almost just a matter of plumbing and a few more engineering details, thereby getting more funding for their research as well as the New Super Mario Bros U.

Re:Fusion! A/C, Sterling (1)

wontie (2368458) | about 2 years ago | (#42563359)

This. This is huge! Well, ... assuming it can be made to work, and at a larger scale, the possibilities to improve energy efficiency are intriguing. Of course, the military might have an interest here too: could it be used to cloak heat signatures? It sounds like a meta material to me.

Re:Fusion! A/C, Sterling (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42563387)

Screw energy efficiency, think of the cooking that can be done with this!

Re:Fusion! A/C, Sterling (1)

Decker-Mage (782424) | about 2 years ago | (#42563665)

A thermal cloaking effect was our first thought here. It's a cast iron bitch to try and hide a tank even with the thermal cloaking blankets today. I'd have to read (and think) so more before I can determine naval applications. [Naval background here.]

Re:Fusion! A/C, Sterling (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42564027)

A thermal cloaking effect was our first thought here. It's a cast iron bitch to try and hide a tank even with the thermal cloaking blankets today.

That's surprising. There are a couple obvious low tech solutions.

1) For the reason regular visible light camouflage works, just reflecting parts of the infrared spectrum around should be about as effective. If the thermal profile doesn't look like a tank, then is it a tank?

2) Being visible during day time is avoidable, and being lit up like a Christmas tree from heat generation at night could also be avoided. Putting things in position beforehand, and not idling all night long.

3) The technology for hybrid cars reduces their fuel consumption and indirectly their heat production, similar things might be done for tanks.

For naval applications, I don't know what the exact problems is.
For camouflage, directing most of a ship's heat uni-directionally, or along one plane.
Generating or increasing the density of fog around a ship (cold water, warm humid air).
Thermal caterpillar drive, like a water/steam based jet engine.
Weaponizing waste heat, being able to aim hundreds of kilowatts at stuff.

Re:Fusion! A/C, Sterling (1)

dywolf (2673597) | about 2 years ago | (#42568389)

my first thought was a "heat laser". the perfect solution to heat dissipation in space....turn it into a weapon!

Re:Fusion! A/C, Sterling (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42564337)

>Fusion's biggest problem is heat management.

lolwhat? Fusion's biggest problem is plasma confinement.

Re:Fusion! A/C, Sterling (2)

Migraineman (632203) | about 2 years ago | (#42564629)

I'm pretty sure plasma confinement can be achieved by routing secondary power through the ventral relays (so say the historical documents.)

Re:Fusion! A/C, Sterling (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42565609)

I thought fusion's biggest problem is the radiation. The heat is what we're after.

Re:Fusion! A/C, Sterling (1)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about 2 years ago | (#42566271)

Or even spaceships, heat dissipation can be a major issue with long term presences in space.

Re:Fusion! A/C, Sterling (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42568011)

Power warp drives.

Not really "heat" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42563331)

This is just EM radiation that at our temperature and materials just happens to turn into heat easily.

A specific specially created heat (4, Informative)

sandytaru (1158959) | about 2 years ago | (#42563367)

These crystals aren't heat sinks. The MIT lab is creating a "heat" that is actually just really fast sound. This can then be manipulated with their special thermocrystals. Now, if they can create a way to turn normal waste heat into this "fast sound" heat, we'll open up a wealth of practical applications.

Re:A specific specially created heat (2)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 2 years ago | (#42565797)

Yes, Just imagine it! Ultrasonic Welding of Plastics!

Re:A specific specially created heat (1)

Evil Pete (73279) | about 2 years ago | (#42566215)

I presume we are then talking about phonon manipulation. Which is pretty cool (sorry for that pun) but at the moment I can't see a lot of applications. Should be able to do lots of interesting photon like things but much slower. Useful if you want to embed logic in a solid material.

Heat diodes (2)

icebike (68054) | about 2 years ago | (#42563417)

From TFA:

The crystals could also be used to create thermal diodes: materials in which heat can pass in one direction, but not in the reverse direction. Such a one-way heat flow could be useful in energy-efficient buildings in hot and cold climates.

Other variations of the material could be used to focus heat — much like focusing light with a lens — to concentrate it in a small area. Another intriguing possibility is thermal cloaking,

Some of the speculative uses seem pretty interesting. To date it is only 40% efficient at some of these tasks, but that's not bad for starters.

These things sound like beginnings of heat circuitry components. The method involves making alloys of silicon that incorporate nanoparticles of germanium in a particular size range, and layering these thin films. If they can find a dynamically controllable switch structure you could build most of the necessary components for simple circuits.

Then you run into this sentences from TFA:

Heat also spans a wide range of frequencies, he says, while sound spans a single frequency.

Wow. Journalism student I'm guessing?

Re:Heat diodes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42563801)

Heat diodes could be used to make infrared laser weapons.

Wha? (1)

ZorinLynx (31751) | about 2 years ago | (#42563635)

Sound is pressure waves. Heat, or more accurately, infrared, is electromagnetic radiation.

They are so vastly different, far beyond just frequency, that I'm not sure what the person who wrote the summary is smoking. :)

Re: Wha? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42563683)

Please, try again.

Re:Wha? (0)

m2shariy (1194621) | about 2 years ago | (#42563803)

Excatly. And heat IS light. Infrared light. And its been treated like that (lenses, mirrors, etc.) for decades, in IR spectroscopy for example

Re:Wha? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42564617)

A swing and a miss... While things with temperature will emit blackbody radiation, which corresponds with IR for temperatures humans typically deal with in day to day stuff, and it is possible for a photon gas to have a temperature and distribution, neither of those make heat synonymous with IR or light in general. E&M radiation covers transfer by irradiation, but convection and conduction are handled by vibrations and motion of particles.

Heat and Light (1)

gd2shoe (747932) | about 2 years ago | (#42565207)

Face Palm!

Heat is vibrating atoms. (Or slightly more accurately, banging off each other randomly like billiard balls.) Some of that energy gets converted and emitted as radiation, and radiation can be absorbed and converted to heat, but that does NOT make them the same thing.

Re:Wha? (2)

marcosdumay (620877) | about 2 years ago | (#42563893)

You need to take your thermodynamic classes again.

Heat and infrared radiation are two very different things.

Re:Wha? (1)

gd2shoe (747932) | about 2 years ago | (#42565215)

Yes indeed. Heat has more in common with sound than it does with light. (Not that they're the same.)

Re:Wha? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42565411)

Probably what you're smoking...

Next time, check your subject before making an arrogant ass of yourself.

allows, allows, lala (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42563687)

allows, allows, lala, allowing is always good and fine! please don't let me repeat repeat myself

Microchips! (1)

briancox2 (2417470) | about 2 years ago | (#42563917)

One of the major problems with creating extremely powerful fan-less processors for mobile devices is heat. Heat problems increase to a square of scale variations when miniaturizing circuitry. If control of heat can be directed to increase the flow of heat away from NEMS and microchips adequately, we could see mobile devices that could compete with the most powerful current desktop processor.

In reverse... Chill my beer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42563943)

But can it concentrate the heat away from my beer without reducing the volume or pressure. I like the tiny bubbles...

Cure for radiation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42564061)

I haven't read TFA but isn't radiation by defination, heat that moves over open space? If you can manipulate heat, then couldn't you manipulate radiation, and thus build shields for deep space travel?

Re:Cure for radiation? (1)

BluPhenix316 (2656403) | about 2 years ago | (#42564093)

I am wondering about this myself

Keep Wondering. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42564375)

No. Heat is not Infrared radiation and Infrared is not heat. Heat is vibrational energy in matter. In other words, it is the energy in the vibration of the atoms and molecules. If something is hot enough, it can cause electrons to jump to higher shells temporarily. When they fall back to the ground-state shell, they emit a photon. This photon has an energy level corresponding to the Infrared spectrum. When this photon, at the Infrared spectrum, strikes matter, it can induce vibrational energy, i.e. Heat, in the molecules/atoms of the substance that is absorbing the photon.

Re:Keep Wondering. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42564647)

Blackbody radiation isn't from exciting electrons and seeing them decay back to ground-state. That would make blackbody radiation far from smooth and continuous. Instead it is due to the acceleration of charged particles which causes them to emit electromagnetic radiation, which works even with plasma or a soup of pure electrons. It also allows blackbody radiation to go to energies much higher or much lower than what you can find atomic transitions for.

That said, IR can be a component of heat, as can any part of the spectrum depending on the temperatures dealing with, as heat is the energy transferred between bodies. In some cases that is done by irradiation, other times it is done by conduction which would be driven by vibration and motion of atoms. Internal energy of most thermal systems, on the other hand, is pretty much all vibration or motion though.

Re:Keep Wondering. (1)

skids (119237) | about 2 years ago | (#42565651)

Technically, neither are phonons "heat". Heat is energy in transit, and semantically is not strictly equivalent to any of the mechanisms or consequences of that transfer. However outside of a scientific treatment, this stricture is dropped.

OP is of course incorrect in assume that IR is the only mechanism by which heat can occur.

heat is light. period. (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42564549)

Heat is light.

parent is wrong. period. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42564657)

Parent is wrong.

I failed High School Physics Day (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about 2 years ago | (#42564587)

On Slashdot!

So I didn't read the article... (1)

FSWKU (551325) | about 2 years ago | (#42565615)

...but is this a step towards a working Thermal Discouragement Beam? [wikia.com]

misleading blurb or bad paper? (1)

Goldsmith (561202) | about 2 years ago | (#42565811)

Usually the main problem with press release science is that it has nothing to do with the real science behind it. Probably, there's an MIT professor embarrassed to show up to colloquia right now.

This press release is talking about acoustic metamaterials. The scientific description in the press release is bad, very bad, but one thing they got dead wrong is that this is not new.

Windows that ventilate but keep the heat inside. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42565897)

Windows that ventilate but keep the heat inside would be a great invention for continuous fresh air in the home, one of the most air polluted places in most people's lives from day to day.

Now that it's been said, heat is just a (higher) frequency of sound, and heat is visible in infrared frequency range of light, does that mean sound is also visible in some other (lower) wavelength? What would that make the cosmic microwave backround or the microwave radiation of space dust? Are they observations of tones of music, the music of the exploding Big Bang and the coldness of space dust? "OMG," man of the future says, "I can see sound!" lol Oh, [sigh].

Interesting but probably not useful. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42568851)

It sounds like they are making a resonant structure to reduce the bandwidth of the heat, which means heat generated from ordinary sources will not easily flow into these crystals. Though it sounds like they can fairly efficiently manipulate it once its in the devices, its not very useful if you can't get heat into it in the first place.

A long time issue (1)

HHealthy (2803519) | about 2 years ago | (#42577501)

Very interesting. Dont you think It always sounded weird when you were in class and the teacher claimed Energy is partially converted partially lost as heat. Certanly these thermocrystals should be kept an eye on. For funding, research and peer finding please refer to the non-profit Aging Portfolio.
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