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Physics - Classical Continuum Physics | Miniature Joule-Thomson Cryocooling - Principles and Practice

Miniature Joule-Thomson Cryocooling

Principles and Practice

Maytal, Ben-Zion, Pfotenhauer, John M.

2013, XXXVIII, 382 p.

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  • A wide-ranging and comprehensive treatise on the subject containing more than 1000 references
  • A modern, updated work dedicated to miniature Joule-Thomson cryocooling featuring a unique and accomplished group of contributors
  • Includes discussion and analysis of many significant patents in the field of cryogenics
This book is the first in English being entirely dedicated to Miniature Joule-Thomson Cryocooling. The category of Joule-Thomson (JT) cryocoolers takes us back to the roots of cryogenics, in 1895, with figures like Linde and Hampson. The "cold finger" of these cryocoolers is compact, lacks moving parts, and sustains a large heat flux extraction at a steady temperature. Potentially, they cool down unbeatably fast. For example, cooling to below 100 K (minus 173 Celsius) might be accomplished within only a few seconds by liquefying argon. A level of about 120 K can be reached almost instantly with krypton. Indeed, the species of coolant plays a central role dictating the size, the intensity and the level of cryocooling. It is the JT effect that drives these cryocoolers and reflects the deviation of the "real" gas from the ideal gas properties. The nine chapters of the book are arranged in five parts.

The Common Principle of Cyrocoolers shared across the broad variety of cryocooler types
Theoretical Aspects: the JT effect and its inversion, cooling potential of coolants, the liquefaction process, sizing of heat exchangers, level of pressurization, discharge of pressure vessels
Practical Aspects: modes of operation (fast cooldown, continuous, multi-staging, hybrid cryocoolers), pressure sources, configuration, construction and technologies, flow adjustment, MEMS, open and closed cycle, cooldown process and similarity, transient behavior
Mixed Coolant cryocooling: theory, practice and applications
Special Topics: real gas choked flow rates, gas purity, clog formation, optimal fixed orifice, modeling, cryosurgical devices, warming by the inverse JT effect

The theoretical aspects may be of interest not only to those working with cryocoolers but also for others with a general interest in "real" gas thermodynamics, such as, for example, the inversion of the JT effect in its differential and integral forms, and the exceptional behavior of the quantum gases.

A detailed list of references for each chapter comprises a broad literature survey. It consists of more than 1,200 relevant publications and 450 related patents. The systematically organized content, arranged under a thorough hierarchy of headings, supported by 227 figures and 41 tables, and accompanied by various chronological notes of evolution, enables a pleasant reading experience.

Dr. Ben-Zion Maytal is a Senior Researcher at Rafael-Advanced Defense Systems, Ltd., and an Adjunct Senior Teaching Fellow at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel.


Prof. John M. Pfotenhauer holds a joint appointment in the Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Physics at the University of Wisconsin - Madison.

Content Level » Research

Keywords » Joule-Thomson cryocooling - Linde-Hampson cycles - infrared detection systems - multi-stage cryocoolers - real gas thermodynamics

Related subjects » Classical Continuum Physics - Engineering - Mechanical Engineering

Table of contents 

Cryocoolers - the Common Principle.- The Joule-Thomson Effect, its Inversion, and other Expansions.- The Linde-Hampson Cryocooling Process.- Thermodynamic Characterization of Coolants.- Principal Modes of Operation.- Construction and Configuration.- The Transient Behavior.- Mixed Coolant Cryocooling.- Special Topics.

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