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Home > News > Super Rebound

April 4th, 2009

Super Rebound

Abstract:
In collisions between two deformable or sticky objects, some or all of the initial energy is usually lost to heat. But computer simulations of nanocluster collisions, as described in the March Physical Review E, show that thermal fluctuations in the tiny projectiles can cause them to rebound with more kinetic energy than they started with. This energy boost would seem to violate the second law of thermodynamics, which bans heat from being turned directly into energy of motion. But for such small objects, the second law doesn't necessarily hold. The researchers believe their work might apply to collisions of microscopic dust particles in space and to techniques in nano-device fabrication.

Source:
Physical Review Focus

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