Sound waves keep computers cool

Scientists have discovered that sound waves may hold the key to cooling ever faster PCs.

Liquid cooling systems for computers have been around for many years, but they have problems.

As liquid draws heat from a computer component, tiny bubbles form and create an insulating layer, reducing the cooling effect.

Ari Gletzer and his team at Georgia University claim to have tackled this problem using sound waves. By placing a sound source opposite the hot component, his team were able to dislodge the bubbles using just a small amount of energy. Gletzer claims the effect increased the efficiency of the liquid coolant by almost 50%.

Applications for the technique could extend beyond computing and gadgetry, though, says Gletzer. Another area it could prove useful is in cooling high-powered components in hybrid vehicles.

Gletzer’s findings are detailed in a paper called Acoustically Enhanced Boiling Heat Transfer.

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