New “cryocooler” gets scientists hot under the collar


A new high-frequency cooling device was recently demoed at the Maryland-based National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) building. The cooler tackles several ongoing challenges, including lower external temperatures, higher frequencies, and rapid cooling.

Targeted at industrial space and military applications, the $quot;cryocooler$quot; is able to achieve extremely cold temperatures (-370 degrees Fahrenheit) quickly, by using helium gas.

The cooler operates at 120 Hz, which is twice the speed of normal cooling devices. Accordingly, a smaller oscillator is used to generate the gas flow, cutting back on the size of the cooler. The NIST claims this is all done without losing any efficiency, which has been a problem with smaller coolers in the past.

Cryogenic cooling methods are one of the NIST’s main focuses in current research, and the government organization says it hopes to eventually reach operating frequencies of 1000 Hz without losing any efficiency.

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