Evan's Space

Wonders of Physics

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Heat Sink in PC


Heat sink plays a very important part in cooling of the Intel chip that powers the whole computer. Removal of thermal energy from the chip is vital. If the chip overheats, the ‘brain’ will be fried and it can’t function.

The features in the heat sink are there for a purpose. The metal portion is placed on top of the chip. Metal is used as metal is a good conductor of thermal energy. It helps to conduct thermal energy quickly away from the chip.

As the metal gets hot, it will radiate the thermal energy out. The design is such that it is fin-shaped, which increases the surface area, thus increases the rate in which rate of emission of infra-red radiation to the surrounding.

Theoretically,  if this metal portion is coloured black will be better as black is a better absorber (from the chip) and emitter (emit out to surrounding) of infra-red radiation.

The fan creates a forced convection current to bring the hot air out and cool air in.

That’s the basic function of the heat sink found in most common PC.

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Double-glazed windows and doors in hotel

These photos are taken at Sentosa Resort World – Festive Hotel.


Most hotels have double-glazed windows and doors.


From thermal physics, we have learned that it has a layer of air in between 2 layers of glass. Air is a poor conductor, hence thermal energy from outside the hotel room entering the room will be reduced. In this way, the room can be kept cool, and hotel expenditure on air-conditioning can be reduced.


On the other hand, due to this feature, it helps to sound proof the room too. With double-glazed windows and a layer of air, external sound from outside the room will be softened due to these additional layers. Hence you are able to have a good sleep in the room!