Friday, August 27, 2010

Very Tiny, Very Cool - Science News

Very Tiny, Very Cool - Science News: "...a cooling scheme that relies on three linked qubits — particles that can exist in one of two states. Two of these qubits make up the refrigerator and would be held in two different heat baths: one very hot and one near room temperature. The third qubit is the object to be cooled. Because these qubits share a quantum connection, they can influence one another. So, as the hottest qubit absorbs energy from its toasty bath, it triggers the tepid qubit to siphon energy off the third qubit, cooling it. This extra energy dissipates off the second qubit in the same way the coil at the back of a refrigerator in the kitchen emits heat.

In their calculations, the physicists found that as the bath of the hottest qubit got hotter, the cooling ability of the fridge got better. And in principle, as long as the heat bath stays hot, the system can run forever. "Once you set it up, it just sits there, gently cooling away," Linden says."

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