Mercury + magnet + electric current = Perfection?

The alternative to direct air cooling

Moderators: NeilBlanchard, Ralf Hutter, sthayashi, Lawrence Lee

Post Reply
Fire-Flare
Posts: 422
Joined: Sun Jun 13, 2010 12:44 pm
Location: Seattle

Mercury + magnet + electric current = Perfection?

Post by Fire-Flare » Thu Apr 07, 2011 12:33 pm

I came across a Youtube video today showing mercury flowing in a circle when electrically charged next to a permanent magnet: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V61ENFlR0S4

Got me wondering if a similar setup could replace pumps in liquid cooling loops.

Discuss.

Edit: Obviously this would have to be a durable, closed loop setup. It would definitely be the first off-the-shelf liquid cooling kit to be silent.
Last edited by Fire-Flare on Thu Apr 07, 2011 1:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
My build: viewtopic.php?f=14&t=69018

Swiftech MCP35X review: viewtopic.php?f=27&t=65287

djkest
Posts: 766
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2007 1:05 pm
Location: Colorado, USA

Re: Mercury + magnet + electric current = Perfection?

Post by djkest » Thu Apr 07, 2011 1:08 pm

Um, mercury is expensive and poisonous. It's a hazardous substance which is a pain in the ass to clean up/dispose of. It's probably not very efficient eitehr. This is a horrible idea.

Reachable
Friend of SPCR
Posts: 396
Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2003 9:55 am
Location: Western Mass.

Re: Mercury + magnet + electric current = Perfection?

Post by Reachable » Thu Apr 07, 2011 1:21 pm

I'd strongly advise against experimenting with mercury. It's so toxic that just working with it and breathing the vapors can cause brain damage.

I appreciate the creativity involved in the idea, but.....

Plus, if you should happen to spill a drop of mercury on your aluminum heatsink, the heatsink will turn to dust due to the mercury opening the door to oxidation.

~El~Jefe~
Friend of SPCR
Posts: 2887
Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2005 4:21 pm
Location: New York City zzzz
Contact:

Re: Mercury + magnet + electric current = Perfection?

Post by ~El~Jefe~ » Sun Apr 17, 2011 11:56 pm

I think its a neat idea. No idea however to contain the vapors or choose a suitable tube that wont bond or a metal.

the heat capacity of mercury is terrible compared to water and some additive. the heat transfer obviously is amazingly good. I would assume the flow rate would have to be super high to pull heat off compared to water cooling.

Side note: people worry too much about flow rate in WC'ing. it really is a matter of size of radiator moreso.

m1st
Posts: 132
Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2010 6:43 pm
Location: US

Re: Mercury + magnet + electric current = Perfection?

Post by m1st » Mon Apr 18, 2011 5:17 am

There was a cooler that came out a few years ago that used mercury in the place of heatpipes and water. It had pretty good performance, but it cost upwards of $300 I think. Ah, here it is.

I guess if you made the entire thing like a water setup, then it may have better performance, but as everybody said mercury is extremely toxic. Also, your bottleneck would still be fan noise on the radiator. There are some pretty quiet water pumps out there...

wundi
Posts: 111
Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2005 2:49 pm
Location: EU

Re: Mercury + magnet + electric current = Perfection?

Post by wundi » Mon Apr 18, 2011 7:33 am

m1st wrote:There was a cooler that came out a few years ago that used mercury in the place of heatpipes and water. It had pretty good performance, but it cost upwards of $300 I think. Ah, here it is.
Nope, wasn't mercury. NaK.
24/7 rig: C2D E8500 | Asus P5Q Pro | 4GB DDR2-800 | Passive HD 5450 | OCZ Vertex 2 120GB | Seasonic X-560 | No case | Thermalright SI-128SE + Slipstream PWM
Gaming rig: Core i7-860 | Gigabyte P55-UD3R | 4GB DDR3-1600 | HD 5850 | Samsung F1 320GB | Antec P183 & CP-850 | Integrated watercooling for CPU & GPU

m1st
Posts: 132
Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2010 6:43 pm
Location: US

Re: Mercury + magnet + electric current = Perfection?

Post by m1st » Mon Apr 18, 2011 9:48 am

Ah, I see. My bad. I would imagine the principal would be the same though, no? I'm just not sure how feasible it would be to use.

Also, isn't Na and K rediculously reactive?

cordis
Posts: 1082
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 10:56 pm
Location: San Jose

Re: Mercury + magnet + electric current = Perfection?

Post by cordis » Mon Apr 18, 2011 10:20 am

Yeah, with mercury being toxic, this wouldn't be such a great idea. I wonder if gallium would work, or galinstan. Gallium melts around 30C, so you'd have to make sure that your system kept it warm, galinstan is an alloy that freezes at -19C, so it would be liquid even at lower room temperatures. I guess the big question is whether or not gallium or galinstan would conduct enough to be useful in a pump. Interesting idea.

Post Reply