Berkeley researchers led by Professor Xiang Zhang discover that heat energy can travel through a complete vacuum

In a surprising new study, Berkeley researchers led by HKU President Professor Xiang Zhang when he was professor of mechanical engineering in Berkeley, showed that heat energy can travel through a complete vacuum thanks to invisible quantum fluctuations, a discovery which subverted one of the basic concepts of classical physics. This discovery of a new mechanism of heat transfer could have profound implications for the design of computer chips and opens up unprecedented opportunities for thermal management at the nanoscale, which is important for high-speed computation and data storage. Now, we can engineer the quantum vacuum to extract heat in integrated circuits.

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