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This diagram depicts one version of a new type of cooling technology for computers.

Diagram of Microscale Ion Driven Air Flow.

Mechanical engineers at Purdue University are developing a new type of cooling technology for computers that uses a sort of nano-lightning to create tiny wind currents. This diagram depicts one version of the design, including the carbon nanotube electrodes, represented by thin red tubes on the left, which emit electrons and make it possible to create the ionizing effects of lightning using low voltage.

Credit: Daniel J. Schlitz, Purdue School of Mechanical Engineering

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Related story: A Tiny Wind to Cool the Tiniest Circuits