Browse Definitions :
Definition

cryogenics

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

Cryogenics is the study of material sciences at extremely low temperatures. Cryogenic temperatures are generally regarded to be below -180° Celsius.

Cryogenics has many use cases in manufacturing and is often used in stress tests to evaluate the design of materials and products used in winter environments. Cryogenics often involves the use of liquid nitrogen or liquid helium, both of which are stored compressed at very low temperature. Once introduced to normal atmospheric temperatures, these two compounds boil, evaporating and rapidly cooling whatever vessel they might be used in.

Cryogenics are of particular interest when applied to electricity and silicon-based semiconductor processors, because super cooling can be used to bring about superconductivity. In a superconductor, electrons flow through the material with no loss to resistance, enabling greater performance by way of higher possible operating frequencies.

Cryogenics is often confused with cryonics, but they are not the same thing. Cryonics is the practice of deep-freezing recently deceased organisms for later revival.

Cryogenics in the data center

Cryocoolers are a type of cryogenic cooler used in data centers. They are based on the principles of Stirling heat engines, a cooling concept that has been used for decades in many industries. The problem with using cryocoolers in the data center, however, is that the heat engines have to be large enough to be effective --  and this can be difficult in a data center where physical space is at a premium.

In the past, cryocoolers were used for in-cabinet or in-row cooling. The challenge was always to route enough hot air to the cryocooler to run it effectively, and then use the cold junction generated to create a closed-loop cooling system. This required enough fans and ducting to ensure air-flows worked adequately, once again presenting the challenge of having enough physical space to make the use of cryocoolers be cost-effective.

Cryogenics and quantum computing

In today's data center, the term cryogenics is often associated with quantum computing. Quantum computers depend on super cooling for normal operation, which means that all of the components have to work at cryogenic temperatures. A major challenge of building quantum computing systems is how to permit superconducting qubits to reside in a cryogenic enclosure, while allowing the control and readout circuits to operate at room temperature.

This was last updated in March 2019

Continue Reading About cryogenics

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • risk management

    Risk management is the process of identifying, assessing and controlling threats to an organization's capital and earnings.

  • compliance as a service (CaaS)

    Compliance as a Service (CaaS) is a cloud service service level agreement (SLA) that specified how a managed service provider (...

  • data protection impact assessment (DPIA)

    A data protection impact assessment (DPIA) is a process designed to help organizations determine how data processing systems, ...

SearchSecurity

  • cybersecurity insurance (cybersecurity liability insurance)

    Cybersecurity insurance, also called cyber liability insurance or cyber insurance, is a contract that an entity can purchase to ...

  • phishing

    Phishing is a form of fraud in which an attacker masquerades as a reputable entity or person in email or other communication ...

  • cybercrime

    Cybercrime is any criminal activity that involves a computer, networked device or a network.

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • disaster recovery team

    A disaster recovery team is a group of individuals focused on planning, implementing, maintaining, auditing and testing an ...

  • cloud insurance

    Cloud insurance is any type of financial or data protection obtained by a cloud service provider. 

SearchStorage

  • NVMe over Fabrics (NVMe-oF)

    NVMe over Fabrics, also known as NVMe-oF and non-volatile memory express over fabrics, is a protocol specification designed to ...

  • logical unit number (LUN)

    A logical unit number (LUN) is a unique identifier for designating an individual or collection of physical or virtual storage ...

  • CIFS (Common Internet File System)

    CIFS (Common Internet File System) is a protocol that gained popularity around the year 2000, as vendors worked to establish an ...

Close