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Reverse Microwave

  1. Oct 25, 2013 #1
    "Reverse Microwave"

    There's some buzz going around about this product,

    http://www.businessinsider.com/this-reverse-microwave-chills-beer-in-45-seconds-2013-10

    which claims to be able to cool drinks rapidly.

    Honestly, I'm a bit unimpressed. It looks like it's just a refrigerator that uses water and swirls it around to increase thermal conduction - but it's essentially still just a refrigerator. Is there any interesting physics here that I'm missing?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 25, 2013 #2

    Simon Bridge

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    The V-Tex sounds like a domestic version of an industrial vortex-cooler.
     
  4. Oct 25, 2013 #3
  5. Oct 26, 2013 #4

    Simon Bridge

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    Pretty much - yeah.
    Even looks like some of the industrial models.

    It's the "reverse microwave" term that looks funny - then you realize that, for many people, the word "microwave" is a machine that heats things up quickly rather than a band of EM radiation.
     
  6. Oct 26, 2013 #5
    That's interesting that the vortex-tube concept still works for water. I would think being an incompressible fluid would have some affect on the mechanism (compared to air) but I know very little about fluid mechanics...

    So, it's nothing new in terms of engineering concepts but it seems like there is some interesting physics at works, and according to that wiki article, the physics of vortex tubes is not well-understood (as seems to be the case for a lot of interesting phenomena in fluid mechanics).
     
  7. Oct 27, 2013 #6

    Simon Bridge

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    Fluid mechanics has a lot of stuff, like vortexes, that are sensitive to small changes in conditions - you get lots of recursion and fractal stuff. It makes it hard to model.

    It's also why you get a lot of pseudoscience around the word "vortex".
     
  8. Oct 28, 2013 #7
    how does the vortex tube work?
     
  9. Oct 28, 2013 #8

    Simon Bridge

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    @Superposed_Cat: you can answer that for yourself by looking it up.
    Do you know how a regular fridge works for a start?

    tldr:
    A regular fridge just moves a fluid around to transport heat from one place to another - the vortex design does the same thing, but it moves the fluid around in a particular pattern to improve it's performance as a heat pump.
     
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