Owada freezer dropped from attention again.

Owada freezer dropped from attention again.

Joined: August 9th, 2006, 2:07 am

October 23rd, 2009, 1:15 pm #1

Note that there is nothing moving forward on the subject of Owada... an important breakthrough in freezing technology that has implications for cryonics.
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Joined: August 9th, 2006, 2:07 am

November 14th, 2009, 2:07 pm #2

?
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Joined: June 10th, 2007, 4:26 am

November 15th, 2009, 10:33 am #3

I think this has been answered. Use of oscillating magnetic or electromagnetic fields (that is, virtual or real photons) to extend the temperatures at which things can supercool, would be very useful for organ preservation and cryonics. The reason being that the more stable your supercooling, and more surely you can make it through the kinetically unstable zone in cooling (and especially melting, when it comes to medicine vs. cryonics), without ice formation. You can use enough cryoprotectant to vitrify without an unstable zone, but it's usually toxic. If you can replace some % of the cryoprotectant with a field, so as to allow a less toxic concentration to be used, that's a real advance. Magnetic fields penetrate very well, also, as do long-wave microwaves.

What doesn't fly, is the idea that you can magically remove heat from things with microwaves or magnetic fields, faster than heat can diffuse through materials. The reason heat takes time to diffuse though materials is that it's electromagnetic energy or kinetic energy. Kinetic energy takes time to move because particles do, and it can't be simply destroyed. How would you destroy random motion? Kinetic energy of heat is randomly directed. The infrared electromagnetic radiation (blackbody radiation) corresponding to a given temperature has similar problems-- it can't just be freely transmitted though materials, since if it were, the material couldn't be heated to begin with. So it's "stuck" also, having to diffuse like kinetic motion. Trying to getting heat to move in solids faster than it normally does, is a losing game. It already moves as fast as it can, in materials of a given composition.
Last edited by StevenHarris on November 15th, 2009, 6:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: August 9th, 2006, 2:07 am

November 15th, 2009, 11:51 am #4

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Joined: July 1st, 2007, 8:16 am

November 15th, 2009, 6:08 pm #5

WOW, PhilO, you understood it? I am really impressed! I was struggling with the points of virtual photon particles and destruction of random motion. Then, when during an attempt to research it, I came across fermion numbers, I was ready to cut my wrists. So I rather gave up.

But I still would like to know whether the process could be adopted to the whole body cryopreservation after the stabilization process is completed (with some modifications to the stabilization process). The reason: It took SA about 12 hours after completion of stabilization to deliver the body in their transport vehicle for vitrification at the cryonics facility. So in layman’s terms, could, during these 12 hours, the Owada process be usefully applied?
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Joined: August 9th, 2006, 2:07 am

November 15th, 2009, 7:31 pm #6

The purpose of the speculative Owada cryonics would be to prevent ice formation-- just like in vitrification. So no, it would not be usefully applied during stabilization. It's for use during the descent below zero F.

I did not understand Harris's explanation at all-- that's why I asked him what the net result of his thinking is-- does he think it's a hoax as some have maintained but which I find hard to believe. Harris's point is best understood by thinking about what heat actually is-- molecular motion in fact. It seems unlikely that, in the Owada process, if you lower the temperature, which is in fact stopping molecular motion, that you would keep molecular motion going with magnets at the same time-- thus keeping the object warm. In effect, you're trying to stop molecular motion at the same time you're trying to keep it going... a paradox-- thus a hoax.

Except for one thing-- it works. So back to the layman's drawing board. Note that Harris isn't trying to descent to my level to explain to me how this works as though I were in kindergarten. Somehow he came up with virtual photons, which sounds like it's part of a Star Trek episode, but actually gets 6 hits on google. Go figure.
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Joined: October 6th, 2004, 6:46 pm

November 15th, 2009, 7:33 pm #7

?
the top speed of cooling is limited by physics...
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Joined: June 10th, 2007, 4:26 am

November 15th, 2009, 7:42 pm #8

?
Perhaps not a hoax (the organ preservationists should check it out!) but I think people are making claims for it here that the inventors never did. It's not a way of removing heat faster; it's a way of keeping things from freezing immediately as heat is removed. When the field is removed, they freeze faster, and with smaller crystals, because the freezing process is more sudden at lower temps, once the inhibitory field is turned off.

In organ vitrification this would be extremely useful if it applies, since vitrification solutions made up with concentrations on the edge of stability take time to form crystals, and if you can keep them from forming ice in the TIME it takes to cool them, you can perhaps get them all the way down to a glass without EVER forming ice. That would be neat.

In cryonics, however, it would almost certainly not apply to cooling procedures away from the central storage facility, where cryoprotectant is not used and very low temperatures are not applied. It's just too difficult right now to transport large things (human body size) at temperatures much below zero, and if you're talking about transporting them while being subjected to powerful magnetif fields or radiated with powerful microwave fields, it would be fantastically complicated.

Transport at temperatures far below zero is not very useful anyway, unless vitrification has been accomplished. In organ preservation, people have looked to see if very low temperatures (like -50 C) are preservative, while the organ is held in a liquid state due to cryoprotection. It turns out that they aren't. It's the solidity itself, even more than the temperature, which protects biomolecules from rattling around and reacting with each other. There's enough energy for chemical reactions to take place at intermediate storage temperatures (-150 C) and even at liquid nitrogen temperatures (-196 C), but most reactions don't happen because the molecules can't move, and thus cannot meet each other TO react. So solidification/vitrification as soon as you can to it, should always be the goal.

It might be possible to use some magnetic process like this to do an "on the spot" vitrification where the patient suffers arrest, but then you'd have the the problem of transporting a vitrified patient to storage, which is (again) difficult even without an electromagnetic field. If the temperature falls too low, they crack, and if it gets too high, they "melt" (or properly, devitrify). This trick is only now being applied to small organs. Doing it with a whole human body would involve a fair amount of further engineering. Not impossible, but nothing that will happen in the near future.

PHYSICS-- HEAT TRANSFER

As for the physics discussion, perhaps I can simplify things by pointing out that "heat" is degraded energy. It can't be simply "destroyed" because energy can't be destroyed. Nor can it be simply converted to some useful stored form (like put into a battery) because there's an entropy cost to be paid to do that, and that ends up almost all the time being paid for by creation of more heat! This is the basic reason why you can't cool your home by destroying the heat in it-- the best you can do is pump the heat outside (and it takes creation of MORE heat to do that!).

If heat can't be destroyed, again, the best you can do is move it. The three methods for that are conduction, convection, and radiation.

Conduction is heat diffusion-- it moves at its own pace. The only way to speed it up is to spike your specimen with conductive paths, like driving nails into a baked potato. Perhaps that will be done in cryonics one day with tiny diamond rods. But it will take very high tech to do it.

A second method is convection, where heat is carried in a moving stream of fluid like a circulatory system. That's what is done in cooling by bypass heat exchange and lung lavage. But of course it only works if you have a moving fluid and the paths to pass it through your specimen. For solids, this method by definition doesn't work.

The third method is radiation, but the radiation itself has a temperature, and to move heat from place to place, it needs to be done at the temperature associated with the heat itself, not some outside radiation. In effect, heat has to move itself by radiating, and it picks the power according to surface area, and the energy transferred is dictated by this and the time and the thermal gradient. Since it's a surface phenomenon also, it doesn't help us in cryonics. We already know how to cool surfaces quickly-- it's the interiors which give problems, and there the radiation is not free to move. Heat travels there by diffusion, which means one molecule striking another.

Now, there is one caveat with the impossibility of "destroying heat in place." There is an entropy cost to pay, and if you can pay that with a phase change or some other type of "randomization of order" you can absorb heat into a potential energy sink, without having to get rid of it as heat. An example is melting an ice cube or evaporating water-- in whose cases the entropy cost is paid for by the randomization of the process, and so you can use the potential energy chage of the process to soak up heat without "moving" it.

The problem is in finding such sinks. If you could move tiny spheres of ice or some other ordered substance into a body and then order them all to change phase and randomize, you could in theory absorb heat quickly, paying both energy and entropy cost with the phase change. But nobody has been able to figure out how to do this.

There IS actually a magnetic method of refrigeration which uses something like this, in creating areas of low entropy and low potential "in place" with a magnetic field. It has been used to creat ultralow temperatures, but since the entropies and potentials are extremely tiny for ANY magnetic field realistically creatable on earth, it doesn't work very quickly. Nor does it "destroy" heat, because heat is created when the potential sink is created. Nor is the potential energy sink the magnetic field itself, because a magnetic field always carries positive energy (it makes heat when it disappears). When you add a magnetic field to something, you increase its energy content, at least as regards the field itself. YOu can't absorb energy into the field, because the field IS energy.

What happens in such cases is that the field is turned on, and molecules align with it, lowering entropy and allowing them to reach a state of lower potential. When this happens, heat is released, because the molecules are contrained from vibrating in 2 of 3 directions, so they don't need the energy associated with the vibration modes they now do not have. This heat is then allowed to diffuse away (in the normal fashion, and at the normal rate). When the field is removed, the molecules go to random directions again, rather like a phase change (think of ice melting), and they need energy to do this. They pick it up by lowering the temperature; THIS process can absorb heat because entropy is increased with the phase change. So the temperature falls, rathers like it does when ice melts or water evaporates. This has been used to create ultralow temperatures when refrigerators have reached their limit, but as you see, it doesn't help with cooling rates and it doesn't get away from needing heat to diffuse out of your specimen.

Steve Harris



Last edited by StevenHarris on November 15th, 2009, 11:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: June 10th, 2007, 4:26 am

November 15th, 2009, 9:31 pm #9

The purpose of the speculative Owada cryonics would be to prevent ice formation-- just like in vitrification. So no, it would not be usefully applied during stabilization. It's for use during the descent below zero F.

I did not understand Harris's explanation at all-- that's why I asked him what the net result of his thinking is-- does he think it's a hoax as some have maintained but which I find hard to believe. Harris's point is best understood by thinking about what heat actually is-- molecular motion in fact. It seems unlikely that, in the Owada process, if you lower the temperature, which is in fact stopping molecular motion, that you would keep molecular motion going with magnets at the same time-- thus keeping the object warm. In effect, you're trying to stop molecular motion at the same time you're trying to keep it going... a paradox-- thus a hoax.

Except for one thing-- it works. So back to the layman's drawing board. Note that Harris isn't trying to descent to my level to explain to me how this works as though I were in kindergarten. Somehow he came up with virtual photons, which sounds like it's part of a Star Trek episode, but actually gets 6 hits on google. Go figure.
"Except for one thing-- it works. So back to the layman's drawing board. Note that Harris isn't trying to descent to my level to explain to me how this works as though I were in kindergarten. Somehow he came up with virtual photons, which sounds like it's part of a Star Trek episode, but actually gets 6 hits on google. Go figure "

=================

Comment: sorry about the virtual photons; you can forget them unless you're a fanatic about all electromagnetic effects being the result of "photons". If you want to talk about all electromagnetic effects as being mediated by photons, you have to come to grips with the idea that some photons go on forever like radio waves, and others have a very limited range, like the ones that come out of your metal detector, or transfer power between windings in a transformer.

Virtual photons are just a way of talking about the difference between electromagnetic radiation (like light and radio) and other electromagnetic effects that don't propagate as well (static fields, induction fields, the "near fields" around antennas, and so on).

Last edited by StevenHarris on November 15th, 2009, 9:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: August 9th, 2006, 2:07 am

November 15th, 2009, 11:16 pm #10

Perhaps not a hoax (the organ preservationists should check it out!) but I think people are making claims for it here that the inventors never did. It's not a way of removing heat faster; it's a way of keeping things from freezing immediately as heat is removed. When the field is removed, they freeze faster, and with smaller crystals, because the freezing process is more sudden at lower temps, once the inhibitory field is turned off.

In organ vitrification this would be extremely useful if it applies, since vitrification solutions made up with concentrations on the edge of stability take time to form crystals, and if you can keep them from forming ice in the TIME it takes to cool them, you can perhaps get them all the way down to a glass without EVER forming ice. That would be neat.

In cryonics, however, it would almost certainly not apply to cooling procedures away from the central storage facility, where cryoprotectant is not used and very low temperatures are not applied. It's just too difficult right now to transport large things (human body size) at temperatures much below zero, and if you're talking about transporting them while being subjected to powerful magnetif fields or radiated with powerful microwave fields, it would be fantastically complicated.

Transport at temperatures far below zero is not very useful anyway, unless vitrification has been accomplished. In organ preservation, people have looked to see if very low temperatures (like -50 C) are preservative, while the organ is held in a liquid state due to cryoprotection. It turns out that they aren't. It's the solidity itself, even more than the temperature, which protects biomolecules from rattling around and reacting with each other. There's enough energy for chemical reactions to take place at intermediate storage temperatures (-150 C) and even at liquid nitrogen temperatures (-196 C), but most reactions don't happen because the molecules can't move, and thus cannot meet each other TO react. So solidification/vitrification as soon as you can to it, should always be the goal.

It might be possible to use some magnetic process like this to do an "on the spot" vitrification where the patient suffers arrest, but then you'd have the the problem of transporting a vitrified patient to storage, which is (again) difficult even without an electromagnetic field. If the temperature falls too low, they crack, and if it gets too high, they "melt" (or properly, devitrify). This trick is only now being applied to small organs. Doing it with a whole human body would involve a fair amount of further engineering. Not impossible, but nothing that will happen in the near future.

PHYSICS-- HEAT TRANSFER

As for the physics discussion, perhaps I can simplify things by pointing out that "heat" is degraded energy. It can't be simply "destroyed" because energy can't be destroyed. Nor can it be simply converted to some useful stored form (like put into a battery) because there's an entropy cost to be paid to do that, and that ends up almost all the time being paid for by creation of more heat! This is the basic reason why you can't cool your home by destroying the heat in it-- the best you can do is pump the heat outside (and it takes creation of MORE heat to do that!).

If heat can't be destroyed, again, the best you can do is move it. The three methods for that are conduction, convection, and radiation.

Conduction is heat diffusion-- it moves at its own pace. The only way to speed it up is to spike your specimen with conductive paths, like driving nails into a baked potato. Perhaps that will be done in cryonics one day with tiny diamond rods. But it will take very high tech to do it.

A second method is convection, where heat is carried in a moving stream of fluid like a circulatory system. That's what is done in cooling by bypass heat exchange and lung lavage. But of course it only works if you have a moving fluid and the paths to pass it through your specimen. For solids, this method by definition doesn't work.

The third method is radiation, but the radiation itself has a temperature, and to move heat from place to place, it needs to be done at the temperature associated with the heat itself, not some outside radiation. In effect, heat has to move itself by radiating, and it picks the power according to surface area, and the energy transferred is dictated by this and the time and the thermal gradient. Since it's a surface phenomenon also, it doesn't help us in cryonics. We already know how to cool surfaces quickly-- it's the interiors which give problems, and there the radiation is not free to move. Heat travels there by diffusion, which means one molecule striking another.

Now, there is one caveat with the impossibility of "destroying heat in place." There is an entropy cost to pay, and if you can pay that with a phase change or some other type of "randomization of order" you can absorb heat into a potential energy sink, without having to get rid of it as heat. An example is melting an ice cube or evaporating water-- in whose cases the entropy cost is paid for by the randomization of the process, and so you can use the potential energy chage of the process to soak up heat without "moving" it.

The problem is in finding such sinks. If you could move tiny spheres of ice or some other ordered substance into a body and then order them all to change phase and randomize, you could in theory absorb heat quickly, paying both energy and entropy cost with the phase change. But nobody has been able to figure out how to do this.

There IS actually a magnetic method of refrigeration which uses something like this, in creating areas of low entropy and low potential "in place" with a magnetic field. It has been used to creat ultralow temperatures, but since the entropies and potentials are extremely tiny for ANY magnetic field realistically creatable on earth, it doesn't work very quickly. Nor does it "destroy" heat, because heat is created when the potential sink is created. Nor is the potential energy sink the magnetic field itself, because a magnetic field always carries positive energy (it makes heat when it disappears). When you add a magnetic field to something, you increase its energy content, at least as regards the field itself. YOu can't absorb energy into the field, because the field IS energy.

What happens in such cases is that the field is turned on, and molecules align with it, lowering entropy and allowing them to reach a state of lower potential. When this happens, heat is released, because the molecules are contrained from vibrating in 2 of 3 directions, so they don't need the energy associated with the vibration modes they now do not have. This heat is then allowed to diffuse away (in the normal fashion, and at the normal rate). When the field is removed, the molecules go to random directions again, rather like a phase change (think of ice melting), and they need energy to do this. They pick it up by lowering the temperature; THIS process can absorb heat because entropy is increased with the phase change. So the temperature falls, rathers like it does when ice melts or water evaporates. This has been used to create ultralow temperatures when refrigerators have reached their limit, but as you see, it doesn't help with cooling rates and it doesn't get away from needing heat to diffuse out of your specimen.

Steve Harris


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