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Absolute zero

Absolute zero is the lowest possible temperature where nothing could be colder and no heat energy remains in a substance.

Absolute zero is the point at which the fundamental particles of nature have minimal vibrational motion, retaining only quantum mechanical, zero-point energy-induced particle motion.

By international agreement, absolute zero is defined as precisely; 0 K on the Kelvin scale, which is a thermodynamic (absolute) temperature scale; and –273.15 degrees Celsius on the Celsius scale.

Absolute zero is also precisely equivalent to; 0 degrees R on the Rankine scale (also a thermodynamic temperature scale); and –459.67 degrees F on the Fahrenheit scale.

While scientists can not fully achieve a state of “zero” heat energy in a substance, they have made great advancements in achieving temperatures ever closer to absolute zero (where matter exhibits odd quantum effects).

In 1994, the NIST achieved a record cold temperature of 700 nK (billionths of a kelvin).

In 2003, researchers at MIT eclipsed this with a new record of 450 pK (0.45 nK).

Note:   The above text is excerpted from the Wikipedia article "Absolute zero", which has been released under the GNU Free Documentation License.
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Matter & Energy News
October 21, 2016

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updated 12:56 pm ET