New compounds produced. In this furnace, research man prepares improved thermoelectric materials by forming compounds of a number of transition metals.
Both in this country and abroad, research workers are intensifying their quest for new materials to produce more efficient thermoelectric devices—now being used on a limited scale for cooling and power generation.
…The science of thermoelectricity began in 1821 when A. Seebeck in Germany discovered that an electric current would flow in a circuit composed of two dissimilar metals if the two junctions were maintained at different temperatures. In 1834, J.C. Peltier in France reported the opposite effect, that is, heat would be absorbed at one junction and given off at the other if current were passed through the circuit from an external source. Today, these phenomena are referred to as the Seebeck effect and the Peltier effect, respectively. Moreover, it was discovered that these effects are reversible. Their signs depend upon the relative junction temperature in the one case and upon the direction of the electric current in the other.