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JAN 24, 2013 - The Economist

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Channelling heat: Good conduct

HEAT, as every schoolboy (and schoolgirl) knows, moves in three ways: conduction, convection and radiation. Convection is the mass movement of a fluid: hot water rising, for example. Radiation is simply infra-red light. Engineers know how to control both of these reasonably well. Conduction, however, is most similar to the transmission of sound. It is caused, in other words, by atoms vibrating and passing such vibrations on to their neighbours. Until now, controlling the conduction of heat through solid objects has been a tricky engineering challenge. But, by making the analogy with sound ... Read More

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