Electronic devices waste a lot of energy by producing useless heat. This is one of the main reasons our mobiles use up battery power so quickly. Researchers at University of Luxembourg have made a leap forward in understanding how this happens and how this waste could be reduced by controlling energy flows at a molecular level. This would make our technology cheaper to run and more durable
Until now, scientists had just an average view of energy conversion efficiency in nano-devices. For the first time, a more complete picture has been described thanks to University of Luxembourg research.
“We discovered universal properties about the way energy efficiency of nano-systems fluctuates,” explained Prof. Massimiliano Esposito of Luxembourg University’s Physics and Materials research unit. Using this knowledge it will be possible to control energy flows more accurately, so cutting waste.
These energy controls could be achieved by a technological regulator which would prevent the natural process whereby heat generated in one part of a device is lost as it spreads to cooler areas. In other words, this adds interesting nuances to the Second Law of Thermodynamics, one of the fundamental theories in physics.
This theoretical understanding of how to regulate of energy flows brings to life “Maxwell’s demon”, a notion introduced by the major 19th Century mathematician and physicist James Clerk Maxwell. He imagined that this “demon” could overturn the laws of nature by allowing cold particles to flow towards hot areas.
Two recent papers published in highly respected scientific journals (Physical Review X and Nature Communications) describe these findings. The research team under Prof. Esposito used mathematical models to arrive at these conclusions. These ideas will be put into practice in the laboratory before any eventual practical technological applications are developed.
Notes to editor:
The full scientific articles “Thermodynamics with continuous information flow” as published in “Physical Review X” (DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevX.4.031015) and “The unlikely Carnot efficiency” as published in “Nature Communications” (DOI: 10.1038/ncomms5721) can be viewed here: http://orbilu.uni.lu/handle/10993/18026 and here: http://orbilu.uni.lu/handle/10993/18027
http://www.uni.lu - Website of the University of Luxembourg
http://orbilu.uni.lu/handle/10993/18026 - Publication: “Thermodynamics with continuous information flow”
http://orbilu.uni.lu/handle/10993/18027 - Publication: “The unlikely Carnot efficiency”
Sophie Kolb | Universität Luxemburg - Université du Luxembourg
Energy hybrid: Battery meets super capacitor
01.12.2016 | Technische Universität Graz
Tailor-Made Membranes for the Environment
30.11.2016 | Forschungszentrum Jülich
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering
02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy