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Absolute Zero

Absolute Zero is a documentary charting the progress of scientists throughout history who attempted to harness the ultimate limit of cold, known as absolute zero. It is based on the book Absolute Zero and the Conquest for Cold by Tom Shachtman.

Absolute zero is the lower limit of the thermodynamic temperature scale, a state at which the enthalpy and entropy of a cooled ideal gas reaches its minimum value, taken as 0. The theoretical temperature is determined by extrapolating the ideal gas law; by international agreement, absolute zero is taken as -273.15° on the Celsius scale, which equates to -459.67° on the Fahrenheit scale. The corresponding Kelvin and Rankine temperature scales set their zero points at absolute zero by definition.

Episode 1 - The Conquest of Cold
This episode charts the key moments in cold, including Cornelius Drebbel's spooky trick of turning summer into winter for the English king; Antoine Lavoisier's battle with Count Benjamin Rumford over the caloric theory of heat; and Michael Faraday's explosive experiments to liquefy gases.

Episode 2 - The Race for Absolute Zero
Focuses on the fierce rivalry that took place in the laboratories in Britain, Holland, France and Poland as they sought the ultimate extreme of cold. The episode follows the extraordinary discoveries of superconductivity and superfluidity and the attempt to produce a new form of matter.


Related Links
Absolute Zero - wikipedia
Absolute zero is the lower limit of the thermodynamic temperature scale, a state at which the enthalpy and entropy of a cooled ideal gas reaches its minimum value, taken as 0.
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