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Naethan Sid Mundkur, 17, of Louisville, researched the enhanced thermal conductivity and heat transfer capabilities of nanofluids for the materials science project he submitted to the Intel Science Talent Search. Naethan created his nanofluid by suspending copper-oxide nanoparticles in a commercially available oil-based heat transfer fluid. He manipulated the concentrations and sizes of the nanoparticles and monitored aspects of the nanofluid that are not commonly observed. Naethan demonstrated that adding copper oxide increased the heat transfer capabilities by up to 30 percent, even at temperatures as high as 100 degrees Celsius. Furthermore, Naethan observed thermal enhancements in the nanofluid that had never been seen before, which suggest the potential for increased efficiency at temperatures commonly used in solar thermal energy development (about 390 degrees Celsius). Naethan attends duPont Manual High School, where he is co-captain and founder of the rocket club. He also serves on the youth advisory board and volunteers as a mentor at the Louisville Science Center. The son of Siddharth and Bandana Mundkur, Naethan hopes to become an entrepreneur in the nanotechnology field.
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