Fourier’s law is perhaps not something you learned in high school physics, but it defines your life to a surprising degree. Essentially, the ability to conduct heat is intrinsic to the material; it doesn’t matter if you’ve got an inch of aluminum or a mile, it’ll conduct the same amount of heat the same way. Graphene, however, doesn’t do that. And that might quite literally change the world.
Graphene Vs. Heat
Essentially, graphene, which is just a one-atom-thick sheet of carbon linked in a honeycomb pattern, breaks Fourier’s Law: The more graphene you have lying around, the more heat it can absorb. So, pretty cool, right? Break out the graphene pot holders! But there’s another property of graphene that’s important here: Conductivity.
Imagine A World Of Self-Cooling Computers
It’s pretty simple. In theory, if this discovery holds to larger and large scales, it would mean, for example, that electronics made with graphene would be “self-cooling.” No heat sinks. No fans. No vents. In theory, it would essentially mean that you could cram graphene circuits into a laptop, it would function without heating up. That’s important not least because heat is often what ultimately destroys your electronics; over time, the intense heat of running computations at billions of operations a second wrecks your computer and makes you buy a new one. Without heat wear and tear, servers would stay up longer, and computers would become more ubiquitous… not to mention cheaper.
To Infinity And Beyond
That’s not even getting into some of the ways graphene could be used. This discovery would take away the heat problem that destroys a lot of nanotechnology experiments, and could introduce new ways of getting the heat out of everything from nanotech to your roof. There’s essentially no limit to how important being able to absorb theoretically unlimited amounts of heat is… and we might be making it happen right now.