Magnetic Air Conditioners: A High Tech Way Of Keeping Cool

The Magnetocaloric Effect

Magnetic air conditioners are based on a phenomenon known as the magnetocaloric effect. Magnetic materials heat up when they are exposed to a magnetic field, then cool down when the field is removed. The magnetocaloric effect was first observed in iron samples by a German physicist named Emil Warburg in 1881, but the change in temperature was too small for any practical application. In recent years, however, separate groups of researchers have developed magnetocaloric metal alloys that produce a significantly larger magnetocaloric effect at room temperature.