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heat sink

Thermodynamics. any environment or medium that absorbs heat.
Also, heatsink. Electronics. a metallic heat exchanger designed to absorb and dissipate excess heat from one of the devices, as a transistor or resistor, in a circuit.
Origin of heat sink
1935-40 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for heat sink
  • When that ice goes and it's open water, the open ocean is a heat sink.
  • It is then placed into momentary thermal contact with a heat sink, which absorbs any heat and entropy that the polymer has.
  • The day and night ebb and flow exist but keep in mind that the planet is also a heat sink.
  • The vast oceans are a heat sink that resists serious temperature swings and large changes in atmospheric chemistry.
  • In order to extract power there must be a heat source and a heat sink at two different temperatures.
  • Currently, processors have a heat sink on top of them to get rid of heat.
  • As a result, engineers design these planes to use the onboard fuel as a heat sink.
  • For example, connected to the bottom of each cell is a small fluid-filled chamber that acts as a heat sink.
  • The circulating water draws heat from the material and transfers it to a heat sink.
  • Heat-pumps then extract more energy from the incoming air stream using the partially warmed exiting air stream as the heat sink.
British Dictionary definitions for heat sink

heat sink

a metal plate specially designed to conduct and radiate heat from an electrical component
a layer of material placed within the outer skin of high-speed aircraft to absorb heat
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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heat sink in Science
heat sink  
  1. A protective device that absorbs and dissipates the excess heat generated by a system.

  2. An environment capable of absorbing heat from substances within it (and with which it is in thermal contact) without an appreciable change in its own temperature and without a change in its own phase.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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heat sink in Culture

heat sink definition

A reservoir for excess heat, especially in a mechanical or electrical device.

Note: One obstacle to the loading of circuits onto microprocessors is the heat generated by electrical circuits. Effective heat sinks, such as metal fins on top of a microprocessor, can provide part of the solution to this problem.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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heat sink in Technology

/heet sink/ (from "sink", electronics jargon for something which takes in current) A piece of thermally conductive metal attached to a semiconductor or other electronic device and designed to prevent it from overheating by conducting heat away from it and radiating it to the environment. Heat sinks often have fins to increase their surface area. They occasionally have fans attached. Heat sink compound can be smeared between the device and the heat sink to improve thermal conduction.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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