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The Seebeck effect

The seebeck effect occurs when you take any two members of the thermoelectric series and connect wires made of them to form a circuit with two junctions. In the presense of a temperature difference between the juctions a small current flows around the circuit.

This thermoelectric effect was discovered in 1821 by the physicist Thomas Johann Seebeck, and has a twin function that works in the opposite direction called the peltier effect.

There have been generators made by the russians that use this process to produce enough current from the heaters to power a transistor radio.

a couple of scientist have now figured out how to make more efficient thermal diodes, giving an efficiency of over 20%.

last modified 00:34 2005/08/09