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Polarisation of heat waves

  1. Sep 27, 2012 #1
    we know that heat is caused by vibration of molecules. the vibration by nature of molecules is random. but in as in polarized light can we give heat that is vibration a particular direction. then this vibration i call polarized heat has varying temp at various angles. can this be actually made true.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 27, 2012 #2

    davenn

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    interestings question....
    Am not an expert in this area but I suspect there are 2 parts to this question

    1) in an object say a chunk of heated iron, the heat is being generated by the motion/vibration of atoms/molecules ( small scale/large scale)

    2) but the radiated heat we feel is primarily infra-red radiation, which is electromagnetic in nature and that can be polarised

    lets see how the more knowledgeable answer this :)

    Dave
     
  4. Sep 28, 2012 #3

    Andy Resnick

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    If you model heat transport with phonons, then yes- phonons have a polarization state.
     
  5. Sep 28, 2012 #4

    mfb

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    I would expect that those phonons scatter quickly and distribute the energy in all directions. The timescale would be similar to the damping of sound in solids (many similar phonons), so probably <1s unless some specific setups can increase it (?).
     
  6. Sep 28, 2012 #5

    DrDu

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    Heat itself doesn't have temperature.
    As far as electromagnetic radiation is concerned, only isotropic blackbody radiation has a well defined temperature. You may put a polarizer in an oven, but it won't change the polarization or temperature of the blackbody radiation once it has the same temperature as the oven. So the answer is negative, you can't create polarized radiation with a well defined temperature.
     
  7. Nov 4, 2012 #6
    if heat can be polarized then i believe the temperature of space occupying polarized heat will be different in different direction for every point in it. so using this concept we possibly create a engine at least in theory which will be 100% efficient.
     
  8. Nov 4, 2012 #7

    mfb

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    This would still need a perfect heat dump at 0 temperature, which does not exist in our universe.
     
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