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Heat Transfer: Accounting for the Radiation of the Sun

May 22, 2012

Knowing the sun’s radiation and thermal effects is very important to designers within the building industry, especially in designing “green” buildings. Heat transfer also plays a vital role in designing outdoor devices in terms of maintaining temperatures in extreme hot or cold environments. To use the words of Nicolas Huc, project leader for the Heat Transfer Module development at COMSOL in France: “it makes a huge difference if you forget to take the sun’s radiation into account.”

The Difficulties with Working with Nanoparticles

May 21, 2012

When it comes to the design of batteries, we want to maximize charge while minimizing volume and weight. The use of nanoparticles can help achieve these goals. However, as I was just reading in one of my favorite websites,, it is very difficult to control the material properties when working with nanostructures.

Are you Ready for the June 5th Venus Transit of the Sun?

May 10, 2012

“At 5:00 central time, June 5th 2012, Venus will transit the sun. It will not do so again until December 2117. The task at hand is to provide a live webcast of the transit as seen from Tulsa, OK.”

AltaSim Takes on Surface Plasmon Resonance Modeling

April 26, 2012

We’ve just got another finished article and layout back for COMSOL News and it looks as great as the others, but for different reasons. We usually ask a couple of our partners to write an article for COMSOL News to provide users with some more technical background to modeling. AltaSim Technologies, who are certified consultants and even run courses in COMSOL, have written an article about surface plasmon resonance.

Design Materials to Exhibit Wanted Properties

April 24, 2012

I’ve just been reading my favorite news service,, and noticed that cloaking is once again the topic of the day. While we have previously reported on a group out of Duke University, this article mentions a group from Ames Laboratory in Iowa. Similar to the Duke Group, Costas Soukoulis from Ames Laboratory also seems to have been at the forefront of this research.

Therapeutic Heat, Electromagnetic and Electrochemical Treatment

March 30, 2012

A couple of days ago I blogged about the team at Lahey Clinic who are using COMSOL Multiphysics to model their neuromodulation therapy of patients. In their example, they place electrodes close to the spine and, through electric current, stimulate the area around these electrodes to relieve back pain. The reason why modeling is important for them is because it’s quite difficult to actually access these treatments to measure their effectiveness and possible detriments.

Now There’s Thermal Cloaking

March 27, 2012

As an avid reader of the blog, I was pleasantly surprised to see a figure show up that could only have been made with COMSOL Multiphysics. Reading the article on thermal cloaking, I understood why.

What Is the Nature of Pain?

March 26, 2012

A second user story for the next COMSOL News is also reaching completion with exciting results (read about the first one here). This is an interesting case as it wasn’t really a group of people traditionally associated with finite element that managed to perform some pretty sophisticated modeling. In fact two of them are medical doctors while the final one has his background in physics.

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