Jean Charles Athanase Peltier
Jean Charles Athanase Peltier (icon; pɛlˈtje; February 22, 1785, in Ham (France)
Ham, Somme
Ham is a commune in the Somme department in Picardie in northern France.-Geography:Ham is situated on the D930 and D937 crossroads, some southwest of Saint-Quentin, in the far southeast of the department, near the border with the department of the Aisne....

 – October 27, 1845, in Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

) was a French
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

A physicist is a scientist who studies or practices physics. Physicists study a wide range of physical phenomena in many branches of physics spanning all length scales: from sub-atomic particles of which all ordinary matter is made to the behavior of the material Universe as a whole...


He discovered the calorific effect of electric current
Electric current
Electric current is a flow of electric charge through a medium.This charge is typically carried by moving electrons in a conductor such as wire...

 passing through the junction of two different metal
A metal , is an element, compound, or alloy that is a good conductor of both electricity and heat. Metals are usually malleable and shiny, that is they reflect most of incident light...

s. This is now called the Peltier effect or Peltier–Seebeck effect.
The Peltier effect, where current is forced through a junction of two different metals, forms the basis of the small 12/24 Volt heater/coolers sold for vehicle use. By switching the direction of current, either heating or cooling may be achieved.

It also forms the basis of the rather expensive, but very stable, junction heated soldering irons, and is used for spot cooling of certain integrated circuits.
It is important to realise that junctions always come in pairs, as the two different metals must be joined at two points. Thus heat will be moved from one junction to the other.
To make a usable heat pump, multiple junctions are created between two plates. One side will get hot and the other side cold. An effective heat dissipation device must be attached to the hot side to maintain a cooling effect on the cold side. This is usually a heatsink and fan assembly.
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