A scientist has found that ionic winds can be used to cool down microchips.
A corona discharge is basically the product of some seriously electrified (or more accurately, "ionized") air molecules, also known as a plasma. St. Elmo's fire, which electrical storms sometimes create around wires or poles, is a form of corona discharge or plasma -- one that sailors have witnessed for as long as there have been boats with masts.
Besides sometimes creating visible light and wreaking electrical havoc, corona discharges make the ionized air molecules move. A popular high-tech air cleaner made by Sharper Image uses this phenomenon in a fan-filter combination sold on late-night TV.
"It's very simple in concept," Mamishev said. "The ions push the air."