The vortex tube as a classic thermodynamic refrigeration cycle

Boye K. Ahlborn, Jeffrey M. Gordon

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    132 Scopus citations


    Vortex tubes are commonly used as refrigeration devices. We show that the thermal and fluid dynamics of the vortex tube bear the signature of a classic cooling cycle, and quantify its performance as a thermodynamic machine. In the process, we develop simple analytic formulas for the temperature and pressure profiles within the tube. The principal model predictions compare favorably against experimental measurements.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)3645-3653
    Number of pages9
    JournalJournal of Applied Physics
    Issue number6
    StatePublished - 15 Sep 2000

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Physics and Astronomy (all)


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