Absolute Zero

Links & Books


Absolute Zero and the Conquest of Cold
Discover the story behind the making of NOVA's "Absolute Zero" at this Web site, which includes resources for teachers and students, information about the program's national partners, and Q&A sessions with author Tom Shachtman and Principal Scientific Consultant Russ Donnelly.

Fahrenheit and Celsius Temperature Scales
On this NASA Web page, read about the similarities and differences between the Fahrenheit and Celsius scales.

Thermometers and Thermostats
This site from the University of Virginia answers questions about the inner workings of thermometers, from Galileo's early models to today's digital units.

What Is Thermodynamics?
Brush up on your understanding of work, heat, and energy with this lesson on the basic laws of thermodynamics.

Air Conditioning and Refrigeration History—Part 1
Find a brief history of air-conditioning and artificial refrigeration on this Web site from the National Academy of Engineering.

Thermodynamic Description and Graphs of Window Air Conditioners
On this Web page, learn everything you ever wanted to know about the engineering and thermodynamic principles of air-conditioners.

BEC Homepage
In 1995, physicists at the University of Colorado created a new state of matter, the Bose-Einstein condensate, by cooling gas to a temperature barely above absolute zero. Learn about the creation of the first BEC, its unique properties, and its possible applications.

Cryogenics for English Majors

On this Florida State University Web site, discover the art and science of keeping things cold.

On this American Institute of Physics Web site, meet the scientists who uncovered the secrets of superconductivity, the low-temperature phenomenon that can make magnets float and electric current flow in nearly perpetual motion. You'll find a special introduction for physics students as well as an audio interview with J. Robert Schrieffer, the youngest member of the scientific team that discovered superconductivity.


Absolute Zero and the Conquest of Cold
by Tom Shachtman. Mariner Books, 2000.

Warmth Disperses and Time Passes: The History of Heat
by Hans Christian von Baeyer. Modern Library, 1999.

A Matter of Degrees: What Temperature Reveals About the Past and Future of our Species, Planet, and Universe
by Gino Segrè. Penguin Books, 2003.

A to Z of Thermodynamics
by Pierre Perrot. Oxford University Press, 1998.

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