In 2004, Lake Shore acquired Desert Cryogenics, a company whose roots were intertwined with those of Lake Shore’s. The company itself was founded in 1995 by David Swartz’s son Eric, whose technical brilliance was demonstrated earlier when, at the age of 17, he designed his first cryostat, a 4.5 K refrigerator, while working a summer job at Lake Shore. Later, while a grad student at Cornell, he developed an improved helium-3 cryostat that could be inserted into a standard helium-4 Dewar, enabling routine measurements to be conducted at temperatures from 0.28 K to more than 400 K. This design and similar cryostat designs were published in the Review of Scientific Instruments.
Eric ended up earning a PhD in Physics from Cornell in 1986, and his dissertation on thermal boundary resistance at cryogenic temperatures was later published in the Review of Modern Physics. This research extended the mathematical understanding of Kapitza resistance, and since its publishing, has been cited numerous times in the technical literature.
Eric was regarded as one of the top cryogenic system designers of his time. As an entrepreneur, his Arizona-based Desert Cryogenics soon became a leading provider of cryogenic probe stations in the world, supplying cryogenic systems for TRW Inc., IBM, Hughes Technologies, and others.