Many body heat radiation and heat transfer in the presence of a non-absorbing background medium

Muller Boris 1 Incardone Roberta 1 Mauro Antezza 2, 3 Emig Thorsten 4, 5 Kruger Matthias 1

Physical Review B : Condensed matter and materials physics, American Physical Society, 2017, 95, pp.085413. 〈10.1103/PhysRevB.95.085413〉

Heat radiation and near-field radiative heat transfer can be strongly manipulated by adjusting geometrical shapes, optical properties, or the relative positions of the objects involved. Typically, these objects are considered as embedded in vacuum. By applying the methods of fluctuational electrodynamics, we derive general closed-form expressions for heat radiation and heat transfer in a system of N arbitrary objects embedded in a passive nonabsorbing background medium. Taking into account the principle of reciprocity, we explicitly prove the symmetry and positivity of transfer in any such system. Regarding applications, we find that the heat radiation of a sphere as well as the heat transfer between two parallel plates is strongly enhanced by the presence of a background medium. Regarding near- and far-field transfer through a gas like air, we show that a microscopic model (based on gas particles) and a macroscopic model (using a dielectric contrast) yield identical results. We also compare the radiative transfer through a medium like air and the energy transfer found from kinetic gas theory.

  • 1. Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems
  • 2. L2C – Laboratoire Charles Coulomb
  • 3. Théorie du rayonnement matière et phénomènes quantiques
  • 4. (MSC)2 UMI3466 CNRS-MIT – Multi-Scale Material Science for Energy and Environment
  • 5. LPTMS – Laboratoire de Physique Théorique et Modèles Statistiques

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