Science Focus - the home of BBC Science Focus Magazine
What happens at absolute zero? © Getty Images

What happens at absolute zero?

Subscribe to BBC Science Focus Magazine and get 6 issues for just £9.99

Brrrr, absolute zero is considered the lowest temperature possible.

Asked by: Stephen West, Tyne & Wear


In one sense we can never know because reaching absolute zero is an impossible task as an infinite amount of work is required to cool something down that far.

However you can get close – the world record coldest temperature is 0.0000000001°C above absolute zero.

At super cold temperatures strange things start occurring. Exotic states of matter appear, such as superfluids that have no friction and viscosity and so climb out of their containers; superconductors, which have zero electrical resistance, and Bose-Einstein condensates, where atoms act totally in unison and never collide.


Subscribe to BBC Focus magazine for fascinating new Q&As every month and follow @sciencefocusQA on Twitter for your daily dose of fun science facts.



Sponsored content