What is absolute zero?

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Absolute zero refers to a state wherein the molecules of a given object are at an absolute standstill and do not create energy that will become heat.  When measured with a temperature scale, the state of absolute zero will register 0 degrees Kelvin. This particular state of matter is considered theoretical because it actually does not exist in the real world.  Although scientists have created conditions close to it, the state of absolute zero cannot actually be achieved.

The concept of absolute zero can be explained through the movement of molecules that is involved in various states of matter like solid, liquid, or gas for example.  In the case of liquids, higher temperatures will mean that the molecules are moving fast.  In the case of boiling water, it is fairly obvious that the water molecules move very fast as the water increases temperature.  In the opposite state, the water molecules will begin to move slower as the temperature lowers.  When the water becomes cold, the temperature reading will also be lower with the molecules moving more slowly.  Under theoretical laboratory conditions, when there is no more movement of molecules, the object or matter involved will supposedly reach the state of absolute zero.

In terms of properties, scientists have discovered that matter will significantly change as the molecules will stop moving and almost reach the state of absolute zero.  In the case of liquid helium for example, it becomes less viscous and transforms into the so-called “super fluid” status.  This new fluid is said to be nearing the state of absolute zero and with lowered viscosity, the same fluid can become so cold and so light that it could defy gravity. The same super fluid can even transfer or move from their own container to another.  Other states of matter like gas and solids will also have changes in their known properties as they reach near the state of absolute zero.

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