Scientists have now figured out how to cool things to below absolute zero. BELOW absolute zero.
Let me just rephrase that. There’s a temperature in the universe that things can’t go below because heat is energy and at that temperature there’s literally no more energy left to lose. Going below absolute zero is like eating a cake that isn’t there. THERE IS NO CAKE, STOP TRYING TO EAT IT also all your molecules are inert and you can’t chew things okay this metaphor is breaking down.
Then scientists came by and said, “we’re gonna take some more energy out of it anyway because quantum” and I guess the universe said “oh, well, quantum” or something because now this happened.
There was a smart guy who once said that any sufficiently advanced science is indistinguishable from magic and clearly he was right because this shit is fucking sorcery.
BELOW ABSOLUTE ZERO HOLY SHIT
So I guess they’re going to have to rename “absolute zero” since it’s not so absolute anymore.
no absolute zero is still a thing BECAUSE QUANTUM
so it’s complicated and that wired article linked at the top is absolute shit here try these instead but basically this doesn’t refer to temperature how we think of it, as in something is hot or cold, but rather to the physical definition of temperature, which is how the particles are interacting
REMINDER that i’m not an actual scientist, i just watch a lot of through the wormhole and think i understand shit okay, okay
so the faster particles move, the hotter something is, and the more energy it has, and the colder something is, the slower the particles move, the less energy it has okay simple got it great. at zero kelvin (minus 273 degrees celsius) the particles stop moving altogether and that shit is cold, we’re talking like vacuum of space billions of light years away from everything freezing. it’s impossible to get colder than that on the kelvin scale, which is why they call it absolute zero, yo
but here’s where it gets cool okay because quantum is like the acid trip of the science world and everybody wants to hang out but nobody actually understands it REALLY, because this is some seriously weird shit like “oh look here at this cool particle OH FUCK NOW IT’S A BARCALOUNGER” type business, okay, for serious, it’s weird
SOOOO okay how this happened has to do with what I explained up above about energy and particles and shit here’s an example: when you boil water, as the water heats up, the molecules increase their kinetic energy over time, and move faster ON AVERAGE. but you have to remember that everything in the goddamn universe is actually made up of little goddamn particles, and each one has its OWN IDENTITY, so not all the water particles are going to have the same amount of kinetic energy. some are all like “fuck you, establishment!” and have a lower level of kinetic energy. but the water still boils - because the AVERAGE level of kinetic energy in the particles is still enough to cook your goddamn ramen. but not all. in fact, MOST of the particles are still chillin’, and only a few heroic superman particles are the ones moving really fast and boiling your goddamn water, because low-energy states are more likely than high-energy states, which is this fancy bullshit called the Boltzmann distribution, hey look we’re learning something new
so what the fuck does this have to do with below absolute zero CALM YOUR TITS I’LL TELL YOU, basically what these goddamn badasses at the Planck Institute of Quantum Awesomeness did was invert this situation. so instead of most of the particles being low-energy and a few being high-energy, they motherfuckin’ switched that shit around and most of them are HIGH-energy and just a few are LOW-energy. WHAT THE FUCK I KNOW RIGHT
so when you invert this goddamn Boltzmann distribution WHAT DO YOU GET? NEGATIVE ABSOLUTE ZERO TEMPERATURE, because temperature in this context is referring to the behavior of the particles, not how goddamn cold it is, you feel
so actually this gas isn’t cold it all IT’S REALLY REALLY HOT, actually it’s so fucking hot that it’s HOTTER THAN ANY POSITIVE TEMPERATURE, which is really goddamn hot, okay, hotter than the entire unf tumblr tag, probably
what the fuck though, that’s confusing YEAH I KNOW IT IS, basically take it from motherfuckin’ bad ass quantum boss scientist ULRICH SCHNEIDER:
The inverted Boltzmann distribution is the hallmark of negative absolute temperature; and this is what we have achieved. Yet the gas is not colder than zero kelvin, but hotter. It is even hotter than at any positive temperature - the temperature scale simply does not end at infinity, but jumps to negative values instead.
GODDAMN, WORK IT, ULRICH
this is super cool because they basically figured out how to REARRANGE THE UNIVERSE in order to work that bitch to produce more energy than we thought we could, which has a lot of potential as far as engines and shit go, because a theoretical engine running on negative temperature is like A BAGAZILLION times more stable and efficient than these shitty engines we use now, holy fuck i know
it also could be super cool for those badasses over in cosmology because HEY GUESS WHAT this negative temperature business seems a lot like the behavior of DARK ENERGY which is super fuckin’ cool, go study that shit guys
so yeah, science, man. HIGH FIVE, PHYSICISTS, GOOD SHOW
Holy shit, that was an amazing read.