Art Rosenfeld, a particle physicist who decided one evening four decades ago to turn off unused lights in his Berkeley Lab office building, went on to create the field of energy efficiency, inspire an entire generation of energy researchers, and conduct the rigorous engineering analyses that would lead to breakthroughs in low-energy lighting, windows, refrigerators, buildings, and many other areas, while convincing utilities and policymakers that new power plants—and their accompanying greenhouse gas emissions—were not necessary.
The term “Rosenfeld effect” was coined to explain why California’s per capita electricity usage has remained flat since the mid-1970s while U.S. usage has climbed steadily and is now 50 percent higher than it was 40 years ago.
Art has left us Friday at his home in Berkeley, California. He was 90.
Professor of Advanced Building Physics