Q:

What is the significance of absolute zero?

A:

Quick Answer

Absolute zero is the coldest possible temperature, at which no heat is left in a substance and its particles display no motion whatsoever. Absolute zero is equal to 0 K on the Kelvin scale, which is equivalent to negative 273.15 degrees Celsius or negative 459.67 degrees Fahrenheit.

Know More

Full Answer

The temperature of a substance is determined by the amount of movement its particles exhibit. Particles move more quickly and over a greater area at higher temperatures than at lower temperatures. As the temperature approaches absolute zero, particle movement eventually slows to the point that it becomes just a vibration.

As of 2014, scientists have not yet been able to bring a substance all of the way down to absolute zero, but they have come close. In 2003, researchers at MIT were able to achieve a record low temperature of 0.45 billionths of a Kelvin using laser-cooling methods. Substances near absolute zero begin to display unusual properties such as superconductivity or superfluidity.

Absolute zero is the basis for the Kelvin scale, which defines 0 K as absolute zero. Created in 1848 by William Thomson, also known as Lord Kelvin, this temperature scale remains the predominant scale used in thermodynamic chemistry and physics. It is a convenient scale to use when dealing with very cold temperatures, since the absence of negative values simplifies calculations.

Learn more about Thermodynamics

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is specific heat capacity?

    A:

    Specific heat capacity is a measure of how much energy must be added to a specific amount of a substance in order to raise its temperature by a single degree. While the units of specific heat capacity can be freely converted as needed, the most common units are joules per gram per degree Celsius, written as J/g*C.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is molar entropy?

    A:

    Molar entropy denotes the entropy content of one mole of any substance. When entropy content is measured for each mole at steady state (298 K temperature), it is referred to as standard molar entropy.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How do you calculate adiabatic flame temperature?

    A:

    To calculate the adiabatic flame temperature of a substance, measure the substance's molar mass and its initial temperature. Calculate the heat of the reaction at 25 degrees Celsius to find the final adiabatic flame temperature.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What forces must be overcome for a substance to melt?

    A:

    In order for a substance to melt, it must absorb enough energy to overcome the intermolecular bonds holding its molecules together. These bonds may be ionic, molecular, covalent or metallic, depending on the material involved. Ionic bonds require the most energy to overcome, while molecular bonds are easier to break.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore