Absolute Zero
Milestones In Cold Research
Launch interactive

Milestones In Cold Research

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 begin happening. 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.—Randy Wedin and Karen Fox

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).

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