On this Day:

In 1930, Patent number US1781541 was awarded to Albert Einstein and Leó Szilárd for their invention of the Einstein refrigerator.

The Einstein–Szilard or Einstein refrigerator is an absorption refrigerator which has no moving parts, operates at constant pressure, and requires only a heat source to operate. It was jointly invented in 1926 by Albert Einstein and his former student Leó Szilárd, who patented it in the U.S. on November 11, 1930 (U.S. Patent 1,781,541). The three working fluids in this design are water, ammonia and butane.The Einstein refrigerator is a development of the original three-fluid patent by the Swedish inventors Baltzar von Platen and Carl Munters.

From 1926 until 1934 Einstein and Szilárd collaborated on ways to improve home refrigeration technology. The two were motivated by contemporary newspaper reports of a Berlin family who had been killed when a seal in their refrigerator failed and leaked toxic fumes into their home. Einstein and Szilárd proposed that a device without moving parts would eliminate the potential for seal failure, and explored practical applications for different refrigeration cycles. Einstein had worked in the Swiss Patent Office, and used his experience to apply for valid patents for their inventions in several countries. The two were eventually granted 45 patents in six countries for three different models.

It has been suggested that most of the actual inventing was done by Szilárd, with Einstein merely acting as a consultant and helping with the patent-related paperwork, but others assert that Einstein contributed design work to the project.

The refrigerator was less efficient than existing appliances, although having no moving parts made it more reliable; the introduction of non-toxic Freon — later found to be responsible for serious depletion of the Earth’s ozone layer — to replace toxic refrigerant gases made it even less attractive commercially. The Great Depression of 1929 dried up funding for development, and the widespread political violence in Nazi Germany, where the inventors lived, particularly towards Jews such as Einstein and Szilard, contributed to the device’s lack of commercial success. (The inventors fled Germany in the early 1930s.) It was not immediately put into commercial production, although the most promising of the patents were quickly bought up by the Swedish company Electrolux. Einstein and Szilárd earned $750 (the equivalent of $10,000 in 2017). A few demonstration units were constructed from other patents.

Although the refrigerator was not a commercial success, the Einstein-Szilard pump was later used for cooling breeder reactors, where its inherent reliability and safety were important.

In 2007, a prototype of a commercial refrigeration device intended for use as a vaccine cooler was shown by Adam Grosser at a TED Talk; the prototype operates at constant pressure, and is powered by heating in a fire. Once heated, the prototype would serve as a refrigerator for 24 hours. As of 2020 Grosser’s prototype had not been put into commercial production.

In 2008, electrical engineers at Oxford University’s Energy and Power Group, part of the university’s Department of Engineering Science, revived the Einstein refrigerator as an attempt to produce a refrigerator suitable for use in rural areas without electricity. The group, led by Malcolm McCulloch noted that the design was still “nowhere near commercialized”, but might allow the efficiency of the original Einstein-Szilárd design to be quadrupled (per Wikipedia).

First, a Story:

What did Einstein say after he and Leó Szilárd invented their refrigerator?

Well, that’s pretty cool!

Second, a Song:

Luke Albert Combs (born March 2, 1990) is an American country music singer and songwriter. Born and raised in North Carolina, Combs began performing as a child, most notably performing at Carnegie Hall. After dropping out of college to pursue a career in music, he moved to Nashville, Tennessee, where he released his debut extended play, The Way She Rides, in 2014.

In 2017, Combs released his debut album, This One’s for You, which reached number four on the Billboard 200. Combs released his second album, What You See Is What You Get, on November 8, 2019. The album topped the charts in multiple territories, becoming his first to do so. A deluxe version of the album was released on October 23, 2020, including the song “Forever After All”.

Combs’ music has earned him two Grammy Award nominations, five CMA awards, and two iHeart Radio music awards, among other awards and nominations.

Here is Luke Combs performing Refrigerator Door, set to a fan lyric video. I hope you enjoy this!


Thought for the Day:

“Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves.” – Albert Einstein

Have a great day!

Dave & Colleen

© 2021 David J. Bilinsky and Colleen E. Bilinsky

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