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An Energy-Saving Magnetic Fridge? Perhaps, but First Some Basic Research Print
Thursday, 08 July 2010 16:13

Forget the magnets on your fridge. How about a magnet in your fridge, one that keeps your leftover pizza cold while consuming less energy than today’s refrigerators?

It could happen. But don’t expect to buy an energy-saving magnetic fridge at Home Depot tomorrow, or even in five years. Scientists must first gain a better understanding of a phenomenon called the giant magnetocaloric effect, in which a changing magnetic field in a material causes its temperature to drop precipitously.

Berkeley Lab's Sujoy Roy has spent the last few years uncovering the secrets of the phenomenon by studying alloys that experience a pronounced magnetocaloric effect. He uses Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source, a national user facility that generates light brighter than the sun to probe the fundamental properties of substances, down to the atomic level. Read the full article.