Iranian Physicists Invent New “Liquid Engine”

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Researchers of Sharif University of Technology’s Faculty of Physics have found a new physical phenomenon which has allowed them to design a device comprising a suspended film of water combined with other liquids which can rotate under full control.

The invention, which has been noted by the Scientific American magazine, includes a thin layer of liquids through which an electrical current passes as well as an external electrical field perpendicular to it.

When the external field’s power or electrolysis voltage is increased by many times, the liquid film will begin to rotate.

Using the new device, which works both with DC and AC varieties of electrical current, the researchers will be able to use electrical fields and create whirlpools in the thin film of liquid.

Reza Shirsavar, student of doctorate course in dense matter physics at Sharif University of Technology and a researcher, has noted that the project is an experimental work which has been started since about three years ago at Dr. Ahmad Amjadi Medical Physics Laboratory by himself and Dr. Mohammad Reza Ejtehad and pertains to a physical phenomenon which has been observed for the first time. The researcher noted that they are currently studying the reason for this phenomenon and its possible applications.

Explaining about the phenomenon, he added that if an electrical field is applied to a layer carrying electrical current that layer will start to rotate and since beginning and stop as well as speed and direction of rotation are controllable, “we call the new device an engine”.

The researcher stated that the system, whose early report has been published recently, works well in pure water and if a small amount of glycerine and detergent is added to it, films whose thickness is measured in micrometers or even nanometers can rotate non-stop for a few minutes.

Shirsavar stated that this is a basic phenomenon which will make them review their past knowledge in the field. “The fact that a thin layer of liquid can be rotated in a controllable manner can have many applications, for example, in building blood centrifuges and other biological systems,” he said.

Perhaps the liquid engine designed by researchers at Sharif University of Technology will not power any vehicle in the foreseeable future, the outlook for combining liquids for industrial and medical applications or in fluids physics is not very far away.

طراحی و توسعه آگاه‌سیستم