My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: How Ohio State University used DFT to connect Heat, Sound, Radiation and Magnetism

Friday, July 3, 2015

How Ohio State University used DFT to connect Heat, Sound, Radiation and Magnetism

“This adds a new dimension to our understanding of acoustic waves. We've shown that we can steer heat magnetically. With a strong enough magnetic field, we should be able to steer sound waves, too”

Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Ohio State Dr. Joseph Heremans, who is also an Ohio Eminent Scholar in Nanotechnology 

All forms of energy be it electromagnetic, heat, sound, magnetic and even nuclear can be used to cause an effect on the other. But I would have never imagined magnetic fields can have an effect on heat and sound, despite their energetic connection.

Researchers from Ohio State University led by Dr. Wolfgang Windl in a groundbreaking study have demonstrated that it is possible for a magnetic field to affect heat and even sound as reported in the article “Researchers provemagnetism can control heat, sound”, published May 28, 2015, Physorg.

The research, performed by Professor of mechanical engineering at Ohio State, Dr. Joseph Heremans used a 7 Tesla MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) on a small sample of a semiconductor material indium antimonide that had been chilled down to ­268 degrees Celsius (­450 degrees Fahrenheit). It was while doing this experiment that they discovered that the strong magnetic field reduces the effect of heat on the indium antimonide circuit by 12%.

To figure out why this occurred, Dr. Wolfgang Windl and his team from Ohio State University borrowed time on the Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC) Oakley cluster at Ohio State University to model the diamagnetic moment of electrons within the non-magnetic cluster of atoms in a macromolecular structure of indium antimonide.

Based on their results, it implies that this may be true for ANY material that is diamagnetic i.e. has no magnetic moment and cannot be magnetized. Heat in diamagnetic materials is affected by magnetic field and can be reduced by a strong magnetic field, suggesting magnetic fields can one day be used in specialized cooling circuits or even a magnetic refrigerator.

It also implies that sound and possibly even radiation, being as they are closely related to heat being as both are can be produced by vibration of atoms, can also be affected by magnetic fields.

So if that's possible, it is safe to say that sound and heat are the same with radiation as a close cousin? And if so, what's the connection to magnetism?

Ohio State University and Heat reduction using Magnetic fields - How Heat, Sound, Radiation and Magnetism are related

Heat, often considered Waste Energy as it typically is recycled in manufacturing processes to be used elsewhere in a Process Plant e.g. Bauxite mining, is closely related to sound, as a heating effect often can be cause by sound.

A heating effect can be cause by conduction, convection and radiation. Convection is really a special case of conduction using air molecules, so it's really radiation and conduction.

Radiation connection to heat is clear cut and is usually created by and causes a heating effect. Microwave radiation exciting molecular bonds from a ground Vibrational/Rotational state to an excited Vibrational/Rotational state as explained in my blog article entitled “General Electric Research Team develops Portable Microwave Calorie Counter - Counting Calories one Water and Fat Molecule at a time”.

IR (Infra Red) radiation, which is just above microwaves in the spectrum band and UV (Ultra Voilet) radiation, which is above violet in the visible light spectrum, is also created by and causes a heating effect. So there is a clear connection between heat and electromagnetic radiation.

It is therefore possible that heat is connected to sound via conduction or radiation or both. Add to this the observation that both sound waves and heat result in the vibration of atoms and cause a heating effect as well as radiation to be possibly produced. Radiation can also cause atoms to vibrate, creating sound and heat.

This is best illustrated by the diagram below.

Please note that the sound may be a very low or very high frequency sound that cannot be heard by the human ear which has a range of 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz. Thus sound, which is a compression wave of vibrating atoms, can also be seen as the transmission of heat energy and that sound and heat may in fact one and the same.

So, using De Broglie Wave-Particle Duality Theory, in much the same way photons can be seen as the elementary particles that transmits electromagnetic radiation energy, possibly there may be an elementary particle that transmits heat and sound energy, being as they are ALL manifestations of Vibrational and Rotational energy.

According to the paper, these elementary particles are called phonons and it these particles that the magnetic field was able to affect, causing the reduction of the heating effect by 12%.

So how did the magnetic field affect phonons? And if it can affect phonons which are connected to the vibrational energy of heat, sound and radiation, what about photons? Can a magnetic field also affect photons?

Paramagnetic and Diamagnetic materials – Heating and Cooling effect of Magnetic Fields

Dr. Wolfgang Windl and his team from Ohio State University examined all possible responses that a non-magnetic cluster of atoms in a macromolecular structure could have to a rapidly rotating external magnetic field whose polarity is constantly changing.

They realized that the only response that non-magnetic cluster of atoms in a macromolecular structure could have to a magnetic field was a diamagnetic response.

That is, the external magnetic field would cause an e.m.f (Electromotive Force) and electrical current to be generated based on the direction of the Magnetic Field as indicated by Ampere's Right Hand Rule or the Left Hand Rule.

This electric field generates a magnetic field that opposes the external magnetic field as described by Lenz's Law, which is really a special case of magnetic repulsion in diamagnetic materials.

This electrical current may cause a minor heating effect as it flows through the conductor, but is would be less pronounced as heating effects are more a phenomenon of paramagnetic materials such as Iron and Steel as explained in my Geezam blog article entitled “Samsung declares 2015 Year of Wireless Smartphone Charging becoming an Industry Standard”.

The heating effect is more obvious for paramagnetic materials than diamagnetic materials, which usually experience little or no heating effect. In fact, this heating effect in paramagnetic materials is the basis for Induction cooking and even devices such as the Miito Induction Kettle as explained in my MICO Wars blog article entitled “US$100 Miito Induction Kettle on Kickstarter heats Water quickly in any container”. 

Diamagnetic materials oppose the external magnetic field and usually do not experience a heating effect. This can be seen clearly in the video as the reason why Stainless Steel and Iron pots are used for cooking and not Copper, which is diamagnetic and also a good conductor.

So if paramagnetic materials experience a heating effect, do diamagnetic materials experience a cooling effect?

Density Function Theory at Ohio Supercomputer Center - Year of Simulation time for Magnetic repulsion of Heat

In order to determine if a magnetic field had an effect on phonons in diamagnetic materials as noticed in the experiment, Dr. Wolfgang Windl and his team decided to use a quantum mechanical modeling Theory known as DFT (Density Function Theory) using the  Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC) Oakley cluster at Ohio State University.

DFT allows the researchers to determine the distribution of electrons within a non-magnetic cluster of atoms in a macromolecular structure around the vibrating atoms when an external magnetic field is present.  The idea is that the magnetic field would cause the electrons to be aligned to the magnetic field when an external magnetic field is applied.

If the material is paramagnetic, the electrons align in such as way as to create a magnetic field that has opposite polarity and hence is attracted to the external magnetic field.  If the material is diamagnetic, the electrons align in such as way as to create a magnetic field that has the same polarity and hence is repelled by the external magnetic field.

This change in magnetic field to opposite polarity or same polarity as the external magnetic field is referred to as the paramagnetic moment or diamagnetic moment respectively.

In short, just in the same way a paramagnetic moment appears to accelerate the heating effect in paramagnetic material like iron and stainless steel by accelerating the motion of phonons, the diamagnetic moment should, in theory, be observed to decelerate the heating effect in diamagnetic material like copper and salt water by decelerating the motion of phonons.

The Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC) Oakley cluster at Ohio State University is a HP/Intel Xeon system. It has some 8,300 Processors that can achieve a peak performance rate of 154 Teraflops or 154 float point calculations per second. Because of the scale of the computation it took Dr. Wolfgang Windl and his team from Ohio State University 1.5 million CPU hours or basically 62500 CPU hours or 171.23 CPU years of simulated time.

To quote doctoral student Nikolas Antolin, who is a part of Dr. Wolfgang Windl, they actually got a lot of help from the OSC, quote:  “OSC offered us phenomenal support; they supported our compilation and parallel threading issues, helped us troubleshoot hardware issues when they arose due to code demands, and moved us to the Lustre high­performance file system after we jammed their regular file system”.

After a really long coffee and donut break, the DFT Model produced a huge amount of data, which was processed through OSC's high-throughput parallel file system.  Eventually they'll have the answer to the questions they seek; why heat flees in the face of a very strong magnetic personality!

Future Research – Magnetic Field to deflect Sound and Radiation for Star Trek’s Deflector Shield

Hopefully their future investigations into using magnetic fields to deflect sound waves, which is a logical implication of this research will yield similar positive results. Hopefully they’ll extend this to radiation, as magnetic fields must also have an effect on them as well.

After all, if a strong magnetic field reduces a heating effect in a non-magnetic cluster of atoms in a macromolecular structure, it should also follow that:

1.      Sound can be reduced or deflected by using a strong Magnetic field
2.      Radiation can be reduced or deflected by using a strong Magnetic field

The effect on heat by sound has already been demonstrated by Computer engineering major Viet Tran and electrical engineering major Seth Robertson of George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia using their equiptment to put out a fire using a directed low bass sound as explained in my blog article entitled “Portable Sound Fire Extinguisher - George Mason University Engineering Graduate Students extinguish Fires using DARPA Research”.

In that article, my theory was that the sound created standing waves by matching the vibrational and rotational energy needed for the oxygen molecules to break their covalent bonds and lose electrons in order to react chemical and cause combustion. Thus, the sound waves makes the oxygen molecules unreactive.

If this is true, then a magnetic field should also have the same effect on sound, being as sound and heat are a manifestation of the same vibrational and rotational phenomenon of atoms and sound is just a travelling compression wave. A strong enough magnetic field should be able to stop all vibrations in an oncoming compression wave made up of air molecules and dissipate or even deflect an oncoming sound wave.

I'm not sure what effect it would have on photons.

But potentially, being as light is travelling standing wave made up of a magnetic and electrical moment that are orthogonal to each other, it might cause a beam of light to be totally stopped in its tracks, once the magnetic field is sufficiently strong based on the Right Hand Rule or the Left Hand Rule.

Assumedly, it would imply that light near a Magnetar, a neutron Star with a spinning ferrous plasma cloud as described in my blog article entitled “Binary Black Holes and 48th Magnetar Westerlund 1-5 - Magnetic Personality in Space as Black Holes feed on Stars” it might also have radiation trapped in a complex bottle made up of both gravity, which is already known to bend light and a very strong magnetic field.

This is already groundbreaking stuff that may not only lead to the development of a Magnetic Refrigerators but also the development of deflector shield arrays for future spacecraft to protect them debris in Outer Space.

Excited to see what more this groundbreaking study by Dr. Wolfgang Windl and his research team at Ohio State University can reveal!

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