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Ultra-efficient LED puts out more power than is pumped in (Wired UK)

MIT physicists have managed to build a light-emitting diode that has an electrical efficiency of more than 100 percent. You may ask, "Wouldn't that mean it breaks the first law of thermodynamics?" The answer, happily, is no.

The LED produces 69 picowatts of light using 30 picowatts of power, giving it an efficiency of 230 percent. That means it operates above "unity efficiency" -- putting it into a category normally occupied by perpetual motion machines.

However, while MIT's diode puts out more than twice as much energy in photons as it's fed in electrons, it doesn't violate the conservation of energy because it appears to draw in heat energy from its surroundings instead. When it gets more than 100 percent electrically-efficient, it begins to cool down, stealing energy from its environment to convert into more photons.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 9th, 2012 at 05:30:55 PM EST
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