Optical physicists reach lowest temperature

optics+test_591e4893-96ab-4bb2-8da3-b5acc49c92f0-prvUSA: Optical physicists at the University of New Mexico claim to have used lasers to chill a crystal to -296ºF (91K).

Dr Mansoor Sheik-Bahae, professor of physics and astronomy at the university’s Department of Physics & Astronomy, along with his research group, is using laser light to chill a special type of crystal, which can then be attached to a device that requires constant and reliable cooling, like infrared detectors on satellites.

What sets their technique apart is the temperatures it can cool to without having any moving parts. Any vibrations can impact the precision or resolution of the device.

“But, when you have optical refrigeration, you can go to low temperatures without any vibrations and without any moving parts, making it convenient for a lot of applications,” explained Aram Gragossian, a research assistant in Sheik-Bahae’s lab.

Earlier this year, Sheik-Bahae, along with collaborators at UNM, and Los Alamos National Labs, reached the lowest temperatures ever recorded using an all-solid-state cryocooler – 91K or -296ºF – temperatures that were previously only able to be reached using liquid nitrogen or helium.

This latest achievement is the product of more than 20 years of work by researchers at UNM, the University of Pisa in Italy and New Mexico’s national laboratories.

One function of solid-state cryocoolers is to cool infrared focal plane arrays (cameras), which can be used for a variety of applications and are even being utilised to detect skin cancer in patients. The detectors must be able to read miniscule changes between healthy areas of skin and diseased areas, so having a cooling system that does not generate vibrations could be extremely useful.

Another application that is being currently developed in collaboration with the scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Colorado is cooling of delicate “reference cavities” for achieving super-stable lasers that will be used as high precision clocks in myriad of metrology applications.


Latest news from the world of air conditioning and refrigeration

UK News

9th December, 2016

47331516_m

Councils ignore prompt payment law

UK: The majority of local authorities in the UK are flouting government prompt payment laws, according to a new report by the Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA).

7th December, 2016

honeywell-retail-energy-project-of-the-year-honeywell

Honeywell takes retail project award

UK: A cascade refrigeration system twinning CO2 with the HFO refrigerant 1234ze has been named as Retail Energy Project of the Year in last week’s Energy Awards in London.

1st December, 2016

steve-gowing-home

Stonegrove appoints Gowing

UK: Industrial refrigeration contractor Stonegrove Refrigeration has appointed Steve Gowing as design and project engineer.

1st December, 2016

javac-award-climate-center

Javac achieves Climate Center double

UK: Javac UK, the refrigerant recovery and vacuum pump supplier, has been named as Climate Centers’ Supplier of the Year for the second year running.

World News

10th December, 2016

50105888_s

Manufacturers appeal antidumping decision

USA: Refrigerant manufacturers have appealed against the US International Trade Commission decision not to apply antidumping duties on imports of HFC components from China.

7th December, 2016

36779366_m

Lack of training threatens phase down

EUROPE: The European Commission has warned that the uptake of training in alternative refrigerants is too low to match the requirements of the F-gas phase down.

6th December, 2016

63555869_s

R12 seized in the South Pacific

SOLOMON ISLANDS: Customs authorities in the Solomon Islands have reported their second seizure of the illegal CFC refrigerant R12 this year. 

5th December, 2016

43761248_s

Bitzer opens subsidiary in Iran

IRAN: German compressor manufacturer Bitzer has established a subsidiary company in Iran.

JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER
Leave A Comment