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(Yahoo)   In their latest round of yanking our legs, scientists announce temperatures below absolute zero   ( news.yahoo.com) divider line
    More: Cool, absolute zero, temperatures, potential energy, billionths, vacuum chambers, kinetic energy, physics experiment, energy levels  
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4392 clicks; posted to Geek » on 04 Jan 2013 at 11:58 AM (5 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2013-01-04 12:24:55 PM  
2 votes:
I get the feeling that these 'below absolute zero' temperatures don't really exist. They are just part of the math in our currently less than perfect model for how the universe behaves. Measuring the temperature of a laser is meaningless since a laser is just photons and photons have neither mass nor temperature (although they can influence both of those characteristics in other bodies). Using a 'negative temperature' balances the math to make our model work.
2013-01-04 03:49:26 PM  
1 vote:
Well, once they get that Quantum Logic thinker dialed in and realize that they aren't hitting zero because of chronic distortions from the future, not to mention their ice pit being bombed by the Logologists I bet they will be able to hit zero finally.
2013-01-04 03:45:09 PM  
1 vote:
I thought that when stuff gets really cold it coalesces into Bose Einstein condensates. So at negative temps are they still condensates?

I just want some goddamn exotic matter so I can make a traversable wormhole dammit!!
2013-01-04 03:05:04 PM  
1 vote:
Maybe this leads credence to the theory will are living in a metastable false vacuum.

If so, screwing around with this is a bad idea.
2013-01-04 02:40:06 PM  
1 vote:
This is more proof that we live in a computer simulation. This is nothing more than an overflow error.
2013-01-04 12:50:09 PM  
1 vote:
"Let's expend an extraordinary amount of energy to align atoms into a state wherein we can use them to produce more energy!"

I'd be very interested to see how it ultimately shakes out, but my first instinct on this is that given the expense (energy wise) of using lasers in a vaccuum static environment in order to attain the states they have means that there's no way they get more energy out of the system than they put in it.

You can do all manner of entertaining things with math, but going from what they've achieved to 'heat engines that are more than 100-percent efficient' in more than a theoretical model still seems pretty absurd.
2013-01-04 12:48:37 PM  
1 vote:
phdcomics.comView Full Size
2013-01-04 12:38:46 PM  
1 vote:
Negative on the Kalvin scale does not mean below zero energy. Absolute zero means there is nothing moving because there is no classical energy. Mainstream media shouldn't report on physics news because they don't understand it.
2013-01-04 12:29:00 PM  
1 vote:
They will declare the cause to be "dark cold" like they do to cover up all their other math errors.
2013-01-04 11:57:00 AM  
1 vote:
Here's the wiki: Negative temperature

But "negative temperature" != "below absolute zero"

Negative temperature is not a new phenomenon, in lasers it's called "Population inversion" and it's how you get lasers to do their thing.

Think of it in terms of gravity. If you have gravity in one direction, you can call it "positive" gravity, and you're pulled towards the Earth. If you have "zero" gravity, you're not pulled anywhere, and just float. If you have "negative" gravity (anti-gravity), you are pushed away from the Earth. This doesn't mean you are feeling less force than the zero gravity situation, just that the force is pointing the other direction than you designated positive gravity.

Similarly, negative temperature is when the particles naturally settle uphill, rather than downhill, as it were.
2013-01-04 10:23:15 AM  
1 vote:

Slaxl: I don't understand any of that but it seems to me that if 'absolute zero' is the term for the lowest possible temperature and someone gets below that, then shouldn't 'absolute zero' be redefined with the new value?

Do not think of it as below, but rather opposite.

In the article they state "objects with negative temperatures are always hotter than ones with positive temperatures.".

Yahoo was just fishin for hits with their title.
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-01-04 09:00:30 AM  
1 vote:
As a comment suggests, lasers have had negative temperature for decades. Infinite temperature has all energy states of a system populated in proportional to some bizarre quantum statistical numbering scheme. Positive temperature has lower energy states disproportionately occupied, negative temperature has higher states occupied.  Traditional lasers rely on an excess of electrons in high energy states.
2013-01-04 07:17:51 AM  
1 vote:
You can never get to zero so long as you have an infinite number of decimal places on your scale.

This is why math must be stopped. Well, that and because Jesus.
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