Superconductivity in an alloy with quasicrystal structure

Extraordinary things happen at low temperatures. One of the best examples is superconductivity, a phenomenon wherein the electrical resistance of a solid drops to zero below a critical temperature. Known for a century, superconductivity ...

The coldest chip in the world

Physicists at the University of Basel have succeeded in cooling a nanoelectronic chip to a temperature lower than 3 millikelvin. The scientists from the Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute set this record ...

Stirring up a quantum spin-liquid with disorder

Disorder is generally thought to be detrimental to creating materials with unusual magnetism or other quantum phenomena. However, a team found that weak disorder surprisingly stabilizes a rare quantum state called a quantum ...

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Absolute zero

Absolute zero is a temperature marked by a 0 entropy configuration. It is the coldest temperature theoretically possible and cannot be reached by artificial or natural means. Temperature is an entropically defined quantity that effectively determines the number of thermodynamically accessible states of a system within an energy range. Absolute zero physically possesses quantum mechanical zero-point energy. Having a limited temperature has several thermodynamic consequences; for example, at absolute zero all molecular motion does not cease but does not have enough energy for transference to other systems, it is therefore correct to say that at 0 kelvin molecular energy is minimal. In addition, any particle with zero energy would violate Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle, which states that the location and momentum of a particle cannot be known at the same time. A particle at absolute zero would be at rest, so both its position, and momentum (0), would be known simultaneously.

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° on the Celsius scale. Absolute zero is also precisely equivalent to 0 R on the Rankine scale (same as Kelvin but measured in Fahrenheit intervals), and −459.67° on the Fahrenheit scale. Though it is not theoretically possible to cool any substance to 0 K, scientists have made great advancements in achieving temperatures close to absolute zero, where matter exhibits quantum effects such as superconductivity and superfluidity. For the kinematics of the molecules, on a larger scale, which is easier to understand see kinetic energy.

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