`Researchers at the University of Cambridge have discovered a material that gives a whole new complexion to the term ‘fridge magnet’. When this alloy is placed in a magnetic field, it gets colder. Karl Sandeman and his co-workers think that their material – a blend of cobalt, manganese, silicon and germanium – could help to usher in a new type of refrigerator that is up to 40 percent more energy-efficient than conventional models.
Given how much energy is consumed by domestic and industrial refrigeration, that could have a significant environmental payoff. Sandeman describes the work at the Institute of Physics Condensed Matter and Materials Physics conference at the University of Exeter, on Friday 21 April.’