Milestones in Cold Research

  • By Randy Wedin and Karen Fox
  • Posted 01.08.08
  • NOVA

Over the past 400 years, scientists, inventors, and others have gone a long way toward mastering cold. They have learned how to measure and describe it. They have followed it down into the netherworld of extraordinarily low temperatures, where bizarre things such as superfluidity occur. And they have harnessed it to benefit humanity through advances like air-conditioning and frozen foods. In this interactive time line, trace the trajectory of discovery, from Galileo's invention of the first thermometer-like device in the late 1500s to a low-temperature experiment in 2003 that came within a billionth of a degree of absolute zero.

Launch Interactive

From Galileo's thermoscope to a recent experiment that reached less than a billionth of a degree above absolute zero

This feature originally appeared on the site for the NOVA program Absolute Zero.

Randy Wedin, a freelance science writer, earned his Ph.D. in chemistry from Harvard University in 1982. Karen Fox is a science writer and coauthor, with Aries Keck, of Einstein A to Z (Wiley, 2004).


©2007 Meridian Productions and Windfall Films

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