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NOVEMBER 2022 I DESIGN007 MAGAZINE 31 ductivity through the board material, and therefore temperature reduction, between the two pads. A substantial amount of cool- ing (temperature reduction) has already occurred before the first thermal via is applied 6 . e physics of thermal conductiv- ity through a material has already accom- plished a lot of what we needed. at is why the thermal vias have only a marginal effect on further cooling 7 . DESIGN007 References 1. See, for example, IPC 2152, "Standard for Determining Current Carrying Capacity in Printed Board Design," 2009, 2. See Brooks and Adam, PCB Design Guide to To Via And Trace Currents and Temperatures, Artech House, 2021, for a complete discussion of PCB trace heating and cooling. 3. We could say this is a transformation between electronics and physics. See simwiki/heat-transfer-thermal-analysis/what-is- joule-heating. 4. IPC-2152, page 26. This was generally con- sidered true by the industry and UltraCAD wrote some articles about 10 years ago saying the same thing. 5. See Reference 2, Chapter 8, for an extensive discussion of via temperatures. 6. See Brooks, Adam, and Castro, "Does a Heated Conductor Have Signal Integrity Implica- tions?" PCD&F, March 2022. 7. We cover thermal vias in Reference 2, Section 8.7. Dr. Douglas Brooks is the founder of UltraCAD Design and a longtime signal integrity instructor. Dr. Johannes Adam is a thermo-dynamics physicist and founder of ADAM Research. Two questions that are probably more important to ask: How does physics help with electrical engineering? And would it be ben- eficial to study both? First, how does it help? Physics is a fundamental scientific disci- pline, maybe the most fundamental scientific discipline, depending on whom you ask! The study of physics builds a broad base of knowl- edge in mathematics and science as a way to understand how the universe works. Study- ing physics provides students with the kind of problem-solving and logic that, in turn, can be applied to technological advances. If physics is the general, then electrical engineering is the specific. While earning a physics degree definitely opens doors to an array of job opportunities, adding electri- cal engineering to the mix will exponentially expand your options. Electrical engineering provides practical skills. It takes the scientific knowledge and the mathematical complexities and transforms them into innovative ideas and new ways to design and build. But it's that knowledge of physics that helps the electrical engineer grasp the constraints inherent to a particular problem and allows him or her to develop a practical approach to achieving a solution. (Source: Elmhurst University) Does Physics Help with Electrical Engineering?

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