Water running uphill a cooling idea

May 1st, 2006 in Physics / General Physics

A University of Oregon researcher has discovered a way to make water run uphill.

In a phenomenon known as the "Leidenfrost effect," water droplets can perform a dance in which they glide in random directions on a cushion of vapor that forms between the droplets and a hot surface, the American Institute of Physics reported.

A U.S.-Australian collaboration led by Heiner Linke of the University of Oregon found that the droplets can be steered in a selected direction when they are placed on a sawtooth-shaped surface.

The study, published in the Physical Review of Letters, said heating the surface to temperatures above the boiling point of water creates a cushion of vapor on which the droplet floats. The jagged surface appears to redirect the flow of vapor, creating a force that moves the droplet in a preferred direction.

Researchers say they might be able to use this phenomenon to cool off computer processors without adding any additional power.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

"Water running uphill a cooling idea." May 1st, 2006. http://phys.org/news65689469.html