A heat pipe is a passive device constructed in such a way that it acts as though it has extremely high thermal conductivity. Heat pipes use latent heat and capillary action to move heat, and can carry many times as much heat as a similar-sized copper rod. Originally invented for use in satellites, they have applications in personal computers.
A thermocouple is a junction between two different metals that produces a voltage related to a temperature difference. Thermocouples are a widely used type of temperature sensor for measurement and control, and can also be used to convert heat into electric power.
A thermopile is an electronic device that converts thermal energy into electrical energy. It is composed of thermocouples. Thermopiles do not measure the absolute temperature, but generate an output voltage proportional to a temperature difference. Thermopiles are widely used, e.g., they are the key component of infrared thermometers, such as those used to measure body temperature via the ear.
A thermal diode or thermal rectifier is a device that preferentially passes heat in one direction: a "one-way valve" for heat.
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