Science Experiments

Freezing Electronics, in liquid nitrogen

Thu, 27th Feb 2014

Part of the show AUTOMATE: The World of Robots

What you Need


Electronics doesn't like being hot, and a huge amount of effort is expended in heat sinks and fans to keep it cool, but is cooling always a good idea. To find out I tried cooling an LED - Light Emitting Diode down to -196C using liquid nitrogen. Most active electronics are created using diodes or combinations of them to form transistors, so this should give some idea of what would happen if you cooled a computer chip.

What to do

Do not repeat this at home.

I dipped electronics in liquid nitrogen to reduce their temperature to -196C.

What may happen

As the LED cooled, it got dimmer very quickly and then as it warmed it got brighter again

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