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Anatomy of a Refrigerator
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Anatomy of a Refrigerator

You likely have one, but do you know how it works? It's actually quite simple. In essence, you only have to understand two general concepts—that by compressing or expanding a gas, you can raise or lower its temperature; and that heat only flows in one direction, from hot to cold. In fact, your refrigerator provides a great everyday example of the science of cold. To see this graphically, and thereby to learn how your refrigerator keeps your food chilled, click on the image at left.—Richard Pommier Swanson

Richard Pommier Swanson is the former Science Content Director for PBS's DragonflyTV. He holds degrees in Education and the History of Science and Technology from the University of Minnesota.

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© | Created January 2008