The Gifford-McMahon Cycle

  • W. E. Gifford
Part of the Advances in Cryogenic Engineering book series (ACRE, volume 11)


A new refrigeration cycle was introduced in 1959 which has seen considerable application for small cryogenic refrigerators [1–7]. The thermodynamic cycle employed In this refrigeration method has become known as the Gifford-McMahon cycle. Since only rather incomplete thermodynamic analyses have been given in the past, an attempt will be made here to give a more extensive description and analysis.


Pressure Ratio Thermal Regenerator Thermodynamic Cycle Refrigeration Cycle Brayton Cycle 
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  1. 1.
    W. E. Gifford and H. O. McMahon, “A Low Temperature Heat Pump,” in: Proceedings of the Tenth International Congress of Refrigeration, Vol. 1, Copenhagen, Denmark (August 1959).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    W. E. Gifford and T. E. Hoffman, in: Advances in Cryogenic Engineering, Vol. 6, Plenum Press, New York (1961), p. 82.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    W. E. Gifford, in: Progress in Cryogenics, Vol. III, Heywood and Co., London (1961), p. 49.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    W. E. Gifford, U.S. Patent 2,966,035.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    W. E. Gifford, U.S. Patent 3,119,237.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    W. H. Hogan and R. W. Stuart, “Design Considerations for Cryogenic Refrigerators,” paper WA292, presented at National ASME meeting, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, November 17–22, 1963.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    R. W. Stuart and W. H. Hogan, in: International Advances in Cryogenic Engineering, Plenum Press, New York (1965), p. 62.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    G. J. Van Wylen, Thermodynamics, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York (1959), p. 18.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1966

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. E. Gifford
    • 1
  1. 1.Syracuse UniversitySyracuseUSA

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