Steven Lurie Garrett

1993 Laureate, Applied Technology
United States, Born 1949

Project Goal

Develop a refrigerator that uses sound waves not CFCs, the gases that destroy the ozone layer

Location: United States

"Industry may be slow to change, and it certainly takes time to train experts in this area, but the potential for sound [thermoacoustics] to provide solutions is enormous."

A sound wave in a tube filled with gas can cool a refrigerator or a room. The technology that supports this idea is novel but proven, and it has the potential to eliminate a variety of harmful chemicals that destroy the ozone layer or increase global warming. Steven Garrett, a 1993 Rolex Award Laureate, has been developing sound-powered refrigeration equipment for over a decade with the ultimate hope that this environmentally friendly technology will find its way from his laboratory to everyone’s homes.


kilowatts of cooling capacity of the refrigeration unit, enough to cool a small business


electroacoustic conversion efficiency of the high-power, high-efficiency loudspeaker


year in which the Kyoto Protocols on Global Warming called for a ban on CFCs

Other 1993 Laureates