Overheard: Word of the Day

Nov 10 2008   1:42PM GMT

Overheard: Peltier effect

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse

jean_charles_peltier1.jpg In 1834, a clockmaker named Jean Charles Peltier found that if you take two wires of dissimilar metals and apply an electric current, there will be a change in temperature at the junction of the wires. Depending on the direction of the current, the temperature will either rise or fall.  One practical outcome of this discovery is a small solid-state heat pump used for semiconductors that’s known as a thermoelectric cooler.

Today’s Word of the Day is thermoelectric cooling.

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