So, this is kinda huge news. I’d really like to see more discussion of it, to validate that these findings are legit, and to hopefully explain it better cause right now it’s blowing my mind!
Absolute zero is often thought to be the coldest temperature possible. But now researchers show they can achieve even lower temperatures for a strange realm of “negative temperatures.”..
This unusual advance could lead to new engines that could technically be more than 100 percent efficient, and shed light on mysteries such as dark energy, the mysterious substance that is apparently pulling our universe apart.
An object’s temperature is a measure of how much its atoms move — the colder an object is, the slower the atoms are. At the physically impossible-to-reach temperature of zero kelvin, or minus 459.67 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 273.15 degrees Celsius), atoms would stop moving. As such, nothing can be colder than absolute zero on the Kelvin scale.
Bizarro negative temperatures
To comprehend the negative temperatures scientists have now devised, one might think of temperature as existing on a scale that is actually a loop, not linear. …
At absolute zero, atoms would occupy the lowest energy state. At an infinite temperature, atoms would occupy all energy states. Negative temperatures then are the opposite of positive temperatures — atoms more likely occupy high-energy states than low-energy states…
"Yet the gas is not colder than zero kelvin, but hotter. It is even hotter than at any positive temperature — the temperature scale simply does not end at infinity, but jumps to negative values instead."
As one might expect, objects with negative temperatures behave in very odd ways… Another odd consequence of negative temperatures has to do with entropy, which is a measure of how disorderly a system is. When objects with positive temperature release energy, they increase the entropy of things around them, making them behave more chaotically. However, when objects with negative temperatures release energy, they can actually absorb entropy…
So, the whole article is really fascinating, but that idea about “absorbing entropy” is particularly interested for me. I know it sounds crazy, but I’ve always wondered if we could use natural entropy processes as a form of energy, since it directs events along certain paths. And yeah, maybe it is completely outlandish, but it’s fun to dream.