back to article Laser used to cool semiconductor

Lasers heat things up, right? – unless you happen to hit upon the right resonance, in which case it seems you can use lasers to cool things down. laser_cooled_semiconductor Koji Usami carries out the experiments at the Quantop laboratories at the Niels Bohr Institute. Credit: Niels Bohr Institute In an announcement that …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It also replaces Powerpoint.


  2. Blofeld's Cat

    Freeze ray!

    Essential kit for any supervillain in a hurry.

  3. dotdavid
    Thumb Up


    So... you're saying they've invented the freezeray?

  4. James 51

    First thing that springs to mind is all those space based missions that use liquid helium could use this instead.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I want my...

    ... laser fridge?

    1. Frederic Bloggs

      Have a sonic fridge instead. That actually exists.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I used to have

        Sonic bedsheets.

        Is that about the same?

  6. Neoc


    Potential cooling solution for long-range deep-space missions?

  7. Steve Knox

    Brings a whole new definition...

    to a 4K chip!

  8. Eddy Ito

    Hear that?

    That's the sound of overclockers getting giddy at the thought of hitting THz with laser cooled superconducting Android tablets and running Crysis.

  9. Ryan 7

    Surely El Reg readers can be trusted with 4°K

    Rather than -269°C

    1. Steve Knox

      Well, perhaps they shouldn't trust you...

      seeing as it's 4K, not 4°K.

      The Kelvin is the unit.

      1. Northern Fop


        That's some serious SI pwnage

  10. Paul 129

    High temperature super conductors?

    I wonder if this sort of concept could help to improve them.

    1. amanfromearth

      Er, no

      I think you missed the point that this is 4K, a LOW temperature

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Reading comprehension fail

    From the article:

    "This is a new optomechanical mechanism, which is central to the new discovery. The paradox is that even though the membrane as a whole is getting a little bit warmer, the membrane is cooled at a certain oscillation and the cooling can be controlled with laser light. So it is cooling by warming! We managed to cool the membrane fluctuations to minus 269 degrees C", Koji Usami explains."

    NOTE: the membrane as a whole is GETTING WARMER. Only certain oscillation modes of the membrane are being cooled - that is, only certain vibrations are being reduced as if the membrane was cold, but overall, the membrane is warming up. This won't cool your CPU, your drink, or your house.

    1. despun


      David H is correct and has beaten me to it. Read what it says - a ( i.e. ONE ) vibrational mode has been cooled only.

      1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart
        Paris Hilton

        Any reference to cool vibrational modes...

        ...requires the use of the Paris icon

  12. skeptical i

    So, we mount them on sharks and send the sharks to the next nuclear meltdown site?

    And keep them in the arctic rebuilding the icecaps between meltdowns?

    1. skeptical i

      That was silly, never mind.


  13. Visual Echo

    Does it work on beer cans?

    Screw semiconductors, can I snap a battery on the bottom of a Barr's Irn-Bru and keep it frosty for a few hours?

    1. BristolBachelor Gold badge

      Jet powered beer cooler

      For fun science beer cooling, look up the guy in New Zealand who make a jet engine beer cooler! OK, the link between het engine and beer cooling is a bit tenuous, but it's a good read, and seeing as also comes to you from the site that gave you Star Wars in Ascii, you have to give him 10/10!!

      Go here and click the link "Jet Powered Beer Cooler", and enjoy!

      1. amanfromearth

        OK, I'll ask..

        How do you do that link thing?

        1. Annihilator


          In the same way you can do bold, italics etc...

  14. BristolBachelor Gold badge

    Laser cooling atoms

    I always thought that laser cooling of atoms worked by the photon from the laser being absorbed by the atom, changing it's energy level, and then the atom releasing a photon and falling back to a lower energy level. If you choose the wavelength of the laser, you can make it so that the photon emitted by the atom has a higher energy than the one absorbed, making a net loss of energy in the atom, and hence colder.

    Anyone? Oh and if what I have written doesn't make sense, then I am sorry; there is a reason that I don't write articles!

  15. This post has been deleted by its author

  16. GuestResponse

    Lasers and Frequencies

    Now, we just need to use lasers to affect the earth's magnetic field. Perhaps in time, we can control the weather, through a network of laser carrying satellites.

  17. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Up

    *Potentially* good idea

    As other have pointed out the usual route to getting 4K is either a big thermos of liquid Helium or some *very* carefully engineered cryo coolers with fairly small heat capacities.

    The former eventually boil dry and the latter have pretty small capacities (IIRC 10W is *huge* in this game) so this *might* be a breakthrough for those missions.

    Cautious thumbs up.

  18. Anonymous Coward


    Ahh, this takes me back to when I read David Brin's 'Sundiver'.They used a 'refrigeration laser' to escape the heart of the sun by cryogenically freezing the ship... (if memory serves me correctly... it's been a couple of decades since I read it...)

    1. David Dingwall


      The human wolflings use a primitive refrigeration laser to eject "waste heat" away from the spacecraft, rather than the approved GalTech from the Library

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Conservation of momentum

    Where does it go?

  20. Steve Knox


  21. Eddie Edwards
    Thumb Up


    So if you layer this on top of a low-temperature superconductor then you can dispense with all that liquid nitrogen ... cool. I look forward to Wipeout Scalextric in the near future!

  22. SarK0Y


    yes, it's hella nice research, but don't be too fast on conclusions, Amici: laser will produce additional noise 4 quantum machine, to arise GHz's of CPU needs not Just cooling, but effective ways to fight versus current leakages in circuitry too ;-)

This topic is closed for new posts.

Other stories you might like