PerspectivePhysics

Cold-Atom Thermoelectrics

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Science  08 Nov 2013:
Vol. 342, Issue 6159, pp. 703-704
DOI: 10.1126/science.1245981

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Summary

Thermoelectric devices can convert temperature differences into electric power, or cool materials by passing currents. On page 713 of this issue, Brantut et al. (1) demonstrate this kind of coupling between particle and heat currents in a laser-controlled cloud of lithium atoms. The precise control of such cold-atom systems allows for an accurate tuning of the thermoelectric effects that is usually not possible in solid-state systems. Such model systems will provide a testing ground for ideas aimed at improving thermoelectric devices.