Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2008

31. Einstein's Fridge

That Albert Einstein guy had some pretty good ideas — relativity, the photoelectric effect, the "up" hairdo — but his contributions to the field of refrigerator theory have been sadly neglected. No longer. Scientists at Oxford University have resurrected an eco-friendly refrigerator design that Einstein and a collaborator patented in 1930. Instead of cooling the interior of the refrigerator with freon — a serious contributor to global warming — Einstein's design uses ammonia, butane and water. It also requires very little energy. Though Einstein's original refrigerator wasn't all that efficient, the Oxford researchers have tweaked his version and believe it could eventually compete in the marketplace. Then maybe we'll remember Einstein the way he wanted — as a guy who liked to keep things cool.