Laser used to refrigerate water for first time
Since the invention of lasers, they have always given off heat from weapons to useful tools. Previously, researchers have never succeeded in using the concentrated beam of light in cooling things off until a research team at the University of Washington (UW) conducted an experiment.
For the first time in the history of science, UW researchers, through a breakthrough research, have developed a device that uses infrared laser for cooling water. They claimed to have discovered a way of cooling off water and other liquids in real-world conditions.
During the research, they succeeded in cooling water by 36 degrees Fahrenheit. The UW team used a common material present in commercial lasers to achieve this result. But, they processed the whole laser phenomenon in reverse.
They used infrared light for illuminating a microscopic crystal floating in water. The crystal got excited, emitting a glow that has a bit greater energy as compared to the light absorbed by the particle. The higher energy glow took the heat away from the crystal and the water, which were surrounding it.
The first demonstration of the laser refrigeration process was done in 1995 in vacuum, but researchers took about 20 years in explaining the same process in liquids. With the help of the experiment, they have also shown that the cheap hydrothermal process can be used for manufacturing laser crystal for laser refrigeration process, whose production otherwise costly and demands time.
In a press release, senior author Peter Pauzauskie, said, “There’s a lot of interest in how cells divide and how molecules and enzymes function, and it’s never been possible before to refrigerate them to study their properties”.
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