Absolute Zero

Discussion in 'Chemistry' started by Orleander, Dec 29, 2007.

  1. superluminal . Registered Senior Member

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    10,717
    LMAO!

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    "Asymptotic" means that a quantity or a thing can get arbitraritly close to a reference but never get there. A nice way to visualize this is based on Zeno's paradox. You are 1 meter from a door. Take a step forward that's half the remaining distance. You're 0.5m away. Do it again, you're 0.25m away, then 0.125m and so on. You can take as many steps as you want and get as arbitrarily close as you want but can never actually reach the door (of course you have verryyy tiny feet...

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    Well, nothing can get to true absolute zero, but there are a few places where it's theorized to be just a degree or so above (inside giant molecular clouds). Scientists have gotten atoms to within 0.0001 or so degrees of absolute zero in the lab.
     
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  3. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

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    thanks for not laughing at me...oh wait

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    lol

    so, where have they theorized?
     
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  5. superluminal . Registered Senior Member

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  7. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

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    Until its proven, is absolute zero a theory?
     
  8. superluminal . Registered Senior Member

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    ?

    Umm... no. It's a fairly simple fact actually. It's been known since the discovery that molecules are little bits of matter, a century or so.

    Nope. It's a real, basic, well understood and proven thing.

    http://www.phy.hr/~dpaar/fizicari/kelvin.html
     
  9. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

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    so the fact that there is an absolute zero is a given. Is the temp at which it is reached a theory?
     
  10. superluminal . Registered Senior Member

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    10,717
    Nope. That's a solid fact also. Like I said, the only thing that prevents you from reaching true absolute zero is quantum uncertainty (and the funds from the NSF to push it that far. That's a joke...)
     
  11. superluminal . Registered Senior Member

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    10,717
    The theories behind this stuff are the atomic theory of matter and quantum mechanics. What they predict and are subsequently verified are scientific facts.
     
  12. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

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    so what would happen to me if I reached absolute zero?
     
  13. superluminal . Registered Senior Member

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    10,717
    Some would say you're already there... HA! (sorry

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    You'd be very cold. That's really about it. Nothing else unusual. (of course you can't get to true absolute zero, remember?)
     
  14. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

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    If I went into that cloud I could.
     
  15. superluminal . Registered Senior Member

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    10,717
    Nope. It's a degree or so above absolute zero.

    Not being able to reach true absolute zero isn't just a matter of not trying hard enough, it's forbidden by the laws of the universe.
     
  16. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

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    Laws don't change? Laws can't be wrong?

    so pretend I got to absolute zero. What do you think would happen? Nothing? I'd just be super frozen?
     
  17. superluminal . Registered Senior Member

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    10,717
    Hmm... I suppose. But the laws we're talking about here are the most fundamental and well tested in all of science. Really. I kid you not.

    If you insist...

    Since this would violate the foundations of physics as we know it, I'd say you would collapse into a singularity of improbability and ruin the day for many well paid quantum physicists.

    Otherwise, yes. You'd just be super frozen.
     
  18. Enmos Staff Member

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    Aren't they more like standing waves of probability of moving particles ?
    I fail to see how matter is held together at 0 K..
     
  19. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

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    see, was that so difficult. :shrug:

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    Thanks for answering my questions. :thankyou: I know it must have been exasperating for you.
     
  20. superluminal . Registered Senior Member

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    10,717
    Well, atoms are still bound to each other by valence electrons, even at absolute zero. Only the overall atomic motion is "stopped". When I say they don't move in a conventional sense, I mean they're not "orbiting" the way some think. They can't be moving in a nonuniformly accelerated way (i.e. circular orbits) because they'd radiate away their energy in a burst of photons and fall into the nucleus and there'd be nothing (electrons that are moving non uniformly radiate photons).

    That's all I meant.
     
  21. superluminal . Registered Senior Member

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    10,717
    Nah. No prob.
     
  22. orcot Valued Senior Member

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    Yust wondering but how would a particle behave if it got to -1°K.
    would it radiate cold in stead? Would the atomic motion be reversed, would it get antimatter like characteristics?
     
  23. superluminal . Registered Senior Member

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    10,717
    That's a completely meaningless question. How can an atom or molecule be moving slower than "not moving at all" which is what -1K implies?

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