Still now we haven’t developed the technology to cool our devices we use. Our devices generate heat when we start to process information (i.e, texting, surfing the internet). The processing of information takes place on the heart of our devices where ‘microprocessing chips’ are being embedded, this is where heat gets generated. There is no effective way for cooling our devices till now.
What if Physicists developed a chip that process information without generating heat?
That‘s cool right. Yes, Physicists have developed a chip that runs at near Absolute Zero (Absolute Zero is referred to be the coldest temperature possible ‘Zero Kelvin’ nothing can be colder than absolute zero on the Kelvin scale).
Physicists from the University of Basel and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute in collaboration with colleagues from Germany and Finland have succeeded in developing a nanoelectronic chip that has a temperature lower than 3 millikelvin.
In physics, it’s said that Absolute Zero is practically impossible. But how did they do it?
They used a method of magnetic cooling to cool the electrical connections as well as the chip itself.
Magnetic cooling is based on the fact that a system can cool down when an applied magnetic field is ramped down while any external heat flow is avoided. Before ramping down, the heat of magnetization needs to be removed with another method to obtain efficient magnetic cooling. Simply, cooling by turning off a magnetic field.
The group led by Basel physicist Professor Dominik Zumbühl had previously suggested utilizing the principle of magnetic cooling in nanoelectronics in order to cool nanoelectronic devices to unprecedented temperatures close to absolute zero.
By successfully combining of two cooling systems, that are based on magnetic cooling. This is how Zumbühl’s team succeeded in cooling a nanoelectronic chip to a temperature below 2.8 millikelvin, thereby achieving a new low-temperature record.
They cooled all of the chip’s electrical connections to temperatures of 150 microkelvin – a temperature that is less than a thousandth of a degree away from absolute zero.
They then integrated a second cooling system directly into the chip itself, and also placed a Coulomb blockade thermometer on it. The construction and the material composition enabled them to magnetically cool this thermometer to a temperature almost as low as absolute zero as well.
Zumbühl says, “The combination of cooling systems allowed us to cool our chip down to below 3 millikelvin, and we are optimistic than we can use the same method to reach the magic 1 millikelvin limit.”