Academics Unplugged - The Leidenfrost Engine: from lifetime drops to powering life on Mars



Thursday, November 30, 2017 - 13:00 to 14:00

Drops are everywhere, in industry, biology and nature, and their evaporation and lifetime is a fundamental question. When subjected to high temperature, drops levitate (a Leidenfrost state), and can be spun on suitable surfaces.

Extending this to dry ice discs allows us to use this ingenious principle to develop a new heat engine, generating power using levitating dry ice discs on hot plates. This new concept can help harvest energy in extreme environments such as space exploration: dry ice is abundant on Mars, and this concept is a unique approach in assisting future planetary missions.

Leidenfrost Engine video

Further Information

Academics Unplugged

Academics Unplugged is an opportunity for researchers to introduce their work to staff and students from across the College. These short talks provide the opportunity for University staff and students to engage directly with cutting-edge researchers.

There are over a thousand researchers working across the King’s Buildings campus. And yet, much of the time, the rest of us are unaware of their work, how it relates to other research, or how it may meet the challenges in contemporary society.

The format of the talks

The talks take place between 1.10pm and 1.50pm, several times each semester on the King’s Buildings campus. Each takes the form of a twenty-minute presentation, followed by the opportunity for the audience to discuss the subject further with the speaker. Links to further information on the speakers’ areas of interest will be provided through the webpage below, so that you can delve into the subjects in more detail.

Academics Unplugged flyer for Prof Khellil Sefiane, The Leidenfrost Engine
Leidenfrost Effect, image by Jonathan Sanderson
Leidenfrost Effect, image by Jonathan Sanderson