办事指南

Us vs universe: How to get below absolute zero

点击量:   时间:2019-03-15 08:19:03

Video: How temperature can be less than nothing There’s a whole mirror world of negative temperatures reaching from minus infinity to absolute zero – now we’re plumbing those depths for real DEFINING a temperature scale is easy. Fire is hot, ice is cold, draw a line between the two and there you are. But what makes fire hotter than ice? The 19th-century physicist William Thomson, later Lord Kelvin, gave one answer. He defined temperature in terms of kinetic energy. In hot bodies, particles are moving around a lot; in cold ones, not so much. (Image: Emilio Segre VisualL Archives/American Institute of Physics/SPL) Kelvin’s scale implied a natural lowest temperature at which particles stop moving completely. It is impossible even to make something reach this “absolute zero”, since that would imply the existence of something even colder to cool it with – let alone leap to negative temperatures beyond it. Or is it? It turned out later that temperature depends not just on particle energies, but how that energy is distributed: disorder, or entropy. Increasing entropy also implies heat flow – and temperature change. Because of the way Kelvin defined his scale, increasing a system’s energy while reducing its entropy registers as a negative temperature. In fact, there is a whole mirror world of negative temperatures stretching towards absolute zero from negative infinity (see diagram). “A whole Mirror-world of negative temperatures exists below absolute zero on the kelvin scale” Motion and disorder usually increase in lockstep,