It’s still more science fiction than science fact, but perfect energy efficiency may be one step closer due to new research at the University of Rochester.
In order to make a car run, a car’s engine burns gasoline and converts the energy from the heat of the combusting gasoline into mechanical work. In the process, however, energy is wasted; a typical car only converts around 25 percent of the energy in gasoline into useful energy to make it run.
Engines that run with 100 percent efficiency are still more science fiction than science fact, but new research from the University of Rochester may bring scientists one step closer to demonstrating an ideal transfer of energy within a system.
Andrew Jordan, a professor of physics at Rochester, was recently awarded a three-year, $1 million grant from the Templeton Foundation to research quantum measurement engines—engines that use the principles of quantum mechanics to run with 100 percent efficiency. The research, to be carried out with co-principal investigators in France and at Washington University St. Louis, could answer important questions about the laws of thermodynamics in quantum systems and contribute to technologies such as more efficient engines and quantum computers.
“The grant deals with several Big Questions about our natural world,” Jordan says.To read more, click here.