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Journal of the Optical Society of America

Journal of the Optical Society of America

  • Vol. 72, Iss. 3 — Mar. 1, 1982
  • pp: 380–385

Thermodynamic limitations of the concentration of electromagnetic radiation

Harald Ries  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA, Vol. 72, Issue 3, pp. 380-385 (1982)

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The temperature formally assigned to spectral electromagnetic radiance Lv by solving Planck’s equation for T permits the application of the Second Law of Thermodynamics to passive concentrating systems. (1) Concentrators operating within the limits of geometrical optics, (2) concentrators changing the frequency of the radiation but conserving the total radiant flux, and (3) systems in which the frequency is changed and part of the absorbed power transferred to the surroundings as heat are discussed. The attainable concentration ratios are given. Particularly for systems of category (3), perspectives are encouraging for further development and application. Such systems resemble, in certain respects, heat pumps. High concentration ratios are allowed by thermodynamics. In this category concentrators that use Stokes fluorescence are discussed.

© 1982 Optical Society of America

Harald Ries, "Thermodynamic limitations of the concentration of electromagnetic radiation," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 72, 380-385 (1982)

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  1. W. T. Welford and R. Winston, The Optics of Nonimaging Concentrators (Academic, New York, 1978), Sec. 3, pp. 11–14.
  2. R. Winston and W. T. Welford, "Geometrical vector flux and some new nonimaging concentrators," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 69, 532–536 (1979).
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  6. The argument given here in terms of frequency may be stated just as well in terms of wavelength, but then attention must be paid to the fact, that unlike frequency, wavelength depends on the refractive index.
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  10. An equivalent result was obtained by E. Yablonovitch, "Thermodynamics of the fluorescent planar collector," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 70, 1362–1363 (1980).
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