Very tiny, very cool

Physicists propose way to build ‘refrigerator’ using just a handful of particles

By Laura Sanders, 12:55 PM August 27, 2010

Annoyingly tiny fridges may not be restricted to hotels or dorm rooms much longer. A new study proposes a way to construct the smallest refrigerator yet, based on just a few particles and capable of cooling to near absolute zero. 

The study, which will appear in an upcoming issue of Physical Review Letters, pushes the limits of how small a cooling device can get and still remain functional.

“When thermodynamics was first invented, it was applied to big, steam engine sorts of things,” says...

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