Scientists create gas that’s colder than absolute zero

Posted at 4:47 PM, Jan 06, 2013
and last updated 2013-01-06 16:48:50-05

‘Absolute Zero’ is not really that absolute.

Some cool scientists have created a gas that is colder than absolute zero on the Kelvin scale. Absolute zero is a mind-numbing -460 degrees Farenheit (-273 degrees Celsius).

According to the journal Nature, Lord Kelvin defined the absolute temperature scale in the mid-1800s in such a way that nothing could be colder than absolute zero, but by the 1950s physicists began to realize that wasn’t true.

Physicists at the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, Germany used lasers and magnetic fields on an ultracold quantum gas made up of potassium atoms to cool the gas below absolute zero.

The gas also appears to mimic ‘dark energy’, the mysterious force that pushes the Universe to expand at an ever-faster rate against the inward pull of gravity.

Read more in Nature