Monday, Nov. 29, 2004

The Big Chill

Environmentally Safe Ice Cream Freezer
Inventor: Steven Garrett
Availability: Prototype only
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When ice cream maker Ben & Jerry's asked a Penn State scientist to build a freezer that won't contribute to global warming, the result was like a frat-house experiment gone right. The apparatus uses sound waves to compress and expand helium, which in turn chills a liquid cooling agent—in this case, vodka. Bizarre, but it works: the stainless-steel canister was used last April to cool pints of Cherry Garcia and Chunky Monkey at a New York City scoop shop.