Absolute Zero and the Conquest of Cold
Throughout the works of Absolute Zero and the Conquest of cold the voice of Tom Shachtman tells the story of absolute zero. The mystery of cold as plagued man for centuries: inspiring many to dig to the depths of what exactly cold is. Cold refers to the condition of having low temperature. Many things are also associated with cold, for instance ice. Absolute zero is the coldest temperature that can be reached which is 0 K on the Kelvin scale. It is a thermodynamic temperature scale. Absolute zero has been defined as all molecular motion that does not cease but does not have enough energy for transference to other systems. Therefore, the molecules stop moving. However, 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 super fluidity. Superconductivity is a phenomenon occurring in certain materials generally at very low temperatures. It is characterized by exactly zero electrical resistance and the exclusion of the interior magnetic field. The electrical resistivity of a metallic conductor decreases gradually as the temperature is lowered. However, in ordinary conductors such as copper and silver, impurities and other defects impose a lower limit. Even near absolute zero a real sample of copper shows a non-zero resistance. The resistance of a superconductor, on the other hand, drops abruptly to zero when the material is cooled below its "critical temperature". An electric current flowing in a loop of superconducting wire can persist indefinitely with no power source.
The matter of thermodynamics underlines the book with the key ingredient to the subject of absolute zero. Thermodynamics is the study of the transformation of energy into different forms and its relation to macroscopic variables such as temperature, pressure, and volume. The...