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Scientists Make Water Run Uphill 144

Posted by Zonk
from the flee-little-droplets-flee dept.
redshadow01 writes to mention a BBC story about scientists flouting the laws of physics for fun, and profit. From the article: "The US scientists did the experiment to demonstrate how the random motion of water molecules in hot steam could be channelled into a directed force. But the team, writing in Physical Review Letters, believes the effect may be useful in driving coolants through overheating computer microchips."
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Scientists Make Water Run Uphill

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  • eh? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 01, 2006 @03:49AM (#15235475)
    The US scientists did the experiment to demonstrate how the random motion of water molecules in hot steam could be channelled into a directed force

    Thats so awesome! Maybe we can use that force push trains or something!
  • Re:Interesting (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rkcallaghan (858110) on Monday May 01, 2006 @04:27AM (#15235529)
    How about a self recycling dam? After the water creates energy going down you push it back up and do it again. Maybe even you can get some engery from moving it up. This is all assuming that you gain more energy than you're losing with this method.

    Look up the Second Law of Thermodynamics and get back to me on that.

    Cheers,
    ~Rebecca
  • by rolfwind (528248) on Monday May 01, 2006 @05:08AM (#15235602)
    Not only could you used other liquids, pumps generate heat too, and the thing can act as a temperature sensor so it combines three functions in one.

    If it gets my chips running faster, simplifies design (lowers costs) and improves reliability (taking out pumps reduces what can go wrong) I'm all for it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 01, 2006 @06:05AM (#15235738)
    how about lowering the atmospheric pressure ?
  • by Dylanesque (868329) on Monday May 01, 2006 @06:20AM (#15235768) Homepage
    This is all very nice, but then the scientist go and say this will 'help cool computer chips'. This it will never do, and I >hate itjust below the onset of film boiling (i.e. when this phenomenon does not occur) is well known to represent to the point of optimum heat transfer. Once film boiling comments, the heat transfer coeffiecient for the surface declines drastically (basically because the density of the coolant in contact with the hot surface declines). Although converting liquid to gas uses a large amount of heat for no rise in temperature, unless liquid can be kept in contact with the surface (by getting rid of the gas) then heat transfer declines

    Making a droplet walk up hill is a neat trick, but in reality its like firing a water rocket with a payload of water.

    I hate this kind of story
  • by CFD339 (795926) <andrewp@@@thenorth...com> on Monday May 01, 2006 @07:55AM (#15235994) Homepage Journal
    ...I.T. projects I've reviewed as a consultant its scary. The spent huge sums figuring out how to do something which is inherently difficult and provides little real world benefit in anything but the longest possible range projections -- which invariably become useless once that amount of time comes to pass.

    Its like building a website out of "Pure J2EE" (whatever the hell that means) -- or building a sand castle one grain of sand at a time. It can be done. That's terrific. But why?
  • by Analogy Man (601298) on Monday May 01, 2006 @07:58AM (#15236001)
    It would work great, you would just need a nuclear reactor or other suitable energy source to heat the surface of the carefully machined track that the hover craft would run on.

    The headline of this article is a bit misleading. Within the article there is no claim of getting anything for nothing...For example I have a device in my basement that makes water run uphill. I have heard some people call it a sump pump. Using a portion of the waste heat from a CPU to drive its own cooling cycle is appealling...but to not have it start to run until local temperatures are already boiling water seems a bit limited.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 01, 2006 @11:59AM (#15237533)
    Yeah, but you leave the heatink on an Intel and you still watch how incredibly hot it will get.

    Ironically, I first made the steamblock joke about nforce chipsets.

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