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Originally posted by Ken_Allen
Is absolute 0F - -459F? If so, is it at all possible to get there with anything? That worlds smallest refrigerator got to -459, but absolute 0 I think would have to be a few decimal places more.
Stupid topic but I'd like to know.
In every direction, there is a very low energy and very uniform radiation that we see filling the Universe. This is called the 3 Degree Kelvin Background Radiation, or the Cosmic Background Radiation, or the Microwave Background.
Originally posted by Echotebarknwhale
isnt space absolute zero? if not what temperature is "outer space"
All I wanted to ask you is that if we put a thermometer in Space with no other light or heat source around and absolutely no background radiation there, what would it read? Would the temperature be really cold or what?
Yes, it would be really cold. Temperature measures the energy per "degree of freedom" (i.e. way something can move) of whatever molecules happen to be around. So, it it becomes so cold that the molecules stop all together, then this is the "absolute zero" temperature. On the Celsius Temperature Scale (i.e. water freezes at 0, and boils at 100) this takes place at -273 degrees C.
We usually use the Kelvin temperature scale, where Zero Kelvin is this "absolute zero" temperature -- or -273 degrees C. Water freezes at +273 Kelvin and water boils at +373 Kelvin.
If we put a thermometer in darkest space, with absolutely nothing around, it would first have to cool off. This might take a very very long time. Once it cooled off, it would read 2.7 Kelvin. This is because of the "3 degree microwave background radiation." No matter where you go, you cannot escape it -- it is always there.
Originally posted by UnMature
How was -459F or 0K determined to be absolute zero? How were scientists able to determine that you could never get anything below this temperature?
Actually, I don't think it is the Third Law of Thermodynamics that
prohibits getting to absolute zero. The Third Law establishes the entropy
datum for pure, crystalline substances.
Rather, it is a corollary to the Second Law:
"It is impossible (in the absence of a perfect heat insulator) for a
finite system to attain zero temperature on the absolute scale."
"To prove this it should be noted that any flow of heat from the
environment to a system at absolute zero could be pumped out of the system
only at the expense of an amount of work which is infinityely great
compared with the heat. In the absence of a perfect insulator, the heat
would be finite (and) the work required would, therefore, be infinite."
So, you should be able to get pretty close (and, in fact, they do
in physics labs that specialize in cryogenics and low-temp physics), but
you can't actually get all the way there. It seems to be one of those
limit imposed by nature like the speed of light.
The foundations of these ideas actually goes back to Kelvin and
The reference I used is an old, but classic text by J.H. Keenan
called simply "Thermodynamics" (1941). I use it alot for such questions.
I hope this helps.
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Originally posted by Zaknafein
The atoms have so little energy at that point that they coalesce into one blob of nuclei, known as the Bose-Einstein Condensate. The condensate is said to be a completely unique state of matter (i.e. liquid, solid).