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Use Of Absolute Zero

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posted on Jul, 1 2005 @ 04:11 PM
I'm doing a school essay on determining absolute zero and it got me wondering when or if they get to absolute zero, what kind of use could it serve compared to a temparature half a degree above it or so? Is it just to prove the limit of how cold things can get?

posted on Jul, 1 2005 @ 04:57 PM
No, it's more than an exercise in trying to break a new barrier. The best place I can point you for an authoritative explanation on the benefits of getting near absolute zero is the description of the The Nobel Peace Prize in Physics for 2001:

and I quote:

The matter surrounding us consists of atoms that obey the laws of quantum mechanics. At normal temperatures these often agree with classical conceptions, and a gas under these conditions behaves rather like a swarm of billiard balls bouncing against one another and the containing walls. When the temperature is lowered and the speed of the atoms is reduced, however, their properties will be increasingly dominated by the principles of quantum mechanics.

As early as 1924 the Indian physicist S. N. Bose carried out a statistical calculation for the kind of particles which have since come to bear his name, bosons, and more specifically light particles later termed photons. Bose presented an alternative derivation for the radiation law earlier found by Planck. Bose sent his work to A. Einstein, who realised its importance. He translated it to German and had it published. Einstein rapidly extended the theory to cover Bose particles with mass and he himself published two articles in quick succession, predicting that when a given number of particles approach each other sufficiently closely and move sufficiently slowly they will together convert to the lowest energy state: what we now term Bose-Einstein condensation (BEC) occurs.

Ever since publication of this pioneering work, physicists have wished to be able to achieve this new fundamental state of matter, which was expected to have many interesting and useful properties. Seventy years were to pass before this year's laureates, Eric A. Cornell, Wolfgang Ketterle and Carl E. Wieman, using very advanced methods, finally managed to do this in 1995. The state was achieved in alkali atom gases, in which the phenomenon can be studied in a very pure manner. Nowhere else in the universe can one find the extreme conditions which BEC in dilute gases represents. Manifestations of Bose-Einstein condensation have earlier been observed in more complicated systems: condensation of paired electrons in superconductors (loss of all electrical resistance) and suprafluidity (loss of internal friction in fluids). Here, too, low temperatures are required. Research in these areas has been rewarded with several Nobel Prizes. As opposed to alkali-atom vapours these quantum-mechanical systems are not simple since the condensation phenomenon concerns only a part of the systems and the strong interactions involved tend to hide the BEC phenomenon.

According to the laws of quantum mechanics that govern conditions in the microcosmos, what we normally term a particle can sometimes behave like a wave. This is well known and is used in e.g. the electron microscope. As early as 1924 L. de Broglie postulated the existence of matter waves and expressed their wavelength in terms of the of momentum of the particles p:

= h/p

where h is Planck's constant. The more slowly the particle moves the less its momentum and the longer the de Broglie wavelength. According to the kinetic theory of gases low particle velocities correspond to low temperatures. If a sufficiently dense gas of cold atoms can be produced, the matter wavelengths of the particles will be of the same order of magnitude as the distance between them. It is at that point that the different waves of matter can 'sense' one another and co-ordinate their state, and this is Bose-Einstein condensation. It is sometimes said that a "superatom" arises since the whole complex is described by one single wave function exactly as in a single atom. We can also speak of coherent matter in the same way as of coherent light in the case of a laser.

posted on Jul, 1 2005 @ 07:16 PM
Ide spell temperature correctly in your essay LOL.
cheeky me. for one thing you'd have 0 electrical resistance for super fast computing if it could be maintained. also superconducters come into it.

posted on Jul, 1 2005 @ 08:53 PM
The obvious problem is that the only way to see if you're there is to measure it, and in order to measure it you've gotta add something external into the system, something above absolute zero. And then you don't have absolutle zero anymore.

posted on Jul, 2 2005 @ 01:46 PM
It would be cool if there was an absolute zero bomb. Completely freeze everything and everyone within the blast radius.

[edit on 2-7-2005 by NWguy83]

posted on Jul, 2 2005 @ 03:25 PM

Originally posted by Amorymeltzer
The obvious problem is that the only way to see if you're there is to measure it, and in order to measure it you've gotta add something external into the system, something above absolute zero. And then you don't have absolutle zero anymore.

yes is'nt there a scientific law stating that the smaller you try and see somthing the more the chance there is of you manipulating what your trying to see

posted on Jul, 2 2005 @ 03:34 PM
You're trying to say Heisenberg's Uncertainty principle. Basically, the more you know about the position of something, the less you know about it's velocity. Not what I was mentioning, but also applicable.

I was saying that the only way to see what temperature it is is to introduce something hotter, which will heat it up. Hence, you won't know.

The Uncertainty Principle applies because, presumably, at 0K, there will be know kinetic energy, and therefore no velocity. We'll know it's velocity exactly, so we can't know it's position at all, yet if we can see it...

So maybe we can't see it. Very likely, in fact, because any light going in would heat it up as well.

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