Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Cool Lasers


I’ve been reading a lot of science articles in the mornings as anyone who follows me on Twitter @nealasher or Facebook will be aware, but this one I have to put here.

As an SF writer you’re always in danger of being tripped up by the science geek who will point out your errors. Back in The Line of Polity (I think) I used ‘laser cooling’ for a space ship and someone – in a review I believe – dismissed this as a ridiculous idea.




In micro electronics heat often causes problems and engineers have to put a lot of technical effort into cooling, for example micro chips, to dissipate heat that is generated during operation. Austrian physicists have now suggested a concept for a laser that could be powered by heat. This idea may open a completely new way for cooling microchips.

5 comments:

Steve Gilham said...

The first mention I recall of "laser refrigerator" technology in SF was David Brin's Sundiver (to the level of dropping a ship into cold sleep while awaiting rescue from deep inside the Sun), and that backed itself up with some plausible thermodynamics. Seeing something similar in the lab is just reality catching up with the literature.

Neal Asher said...

I think just about any form of energy conversion cannot be discounted now, Steve. I realized that when reading about the idea of harvesting energy from the zero point field with arrays of nanotech rectifiers.

But is it nice to be proved right.

Neal Asher said...

And there's much more: http://phys.org/tags/laser+cooling/

Graeme Finch said...

Well ner ner ner nerd. The power of the ner ner cannot be over stated in arguments with logical people.

Neal Asher said...

Well there's no point in winning an argument if you can't enjoy it, Graeme.