U.S. Scientists Have Just ‘Created’ The World’s Coldest Temperature In A Research Lab

If you're wondering what the coldest thing in the world is, it was just made in a Boulder, CO laboratory.

When most of us think of lasers, we imagine them to be sources of heat, but a research team at the National Institute of Standards and Technology has gone the other way with them, using them as a way to supercool objects down to a temperature the world had never seen.

In their Boulder, Colorado lab, the team organized the light produced in a laser to slow down the molecular vibration of a minuscule aluminum object, measuring just 20 micrometers wide and 100 nanometers thick.

Here’s a rendering of the supercooled object:

NIST - Boulder

The more the scientists were able to slow the molecular vibration, the lower the temperature fell. In the absence of any vibration, the temperature would reach the mythic zero degrees Kelvin. While that goal remains out of reach, the scientists were able to achieve a temperature of .00036 Kelvin, which is...close to zero degrees Kelvin, also known as absolute zero.

We don’t use the Kelvin scale much in our lives, so these numbers likely don’t resonate, so let’s look at this another way. The journal Nature says this temperature is 10,000 times colder than outer space. Unless you’ve been to space recently, that doesn’t help much, either, though it’s an impressive-sounding feat nonetheless.

So let’s convert this to temperatures we’re more familiar with. Zero degrees Kelvin is -459.67 degrees Fahrenheit and -273.15 degrees Celsius. The temperature that these Colorado scientists were able to achieve, .00036 Kelvin, equates to -459.669352 Fahrenheit and -273.14964 Celsius.

It doesn’t get much closer than that without stopping molecular vibration altogether, which we’re a little closer to as a result of this exercise.

The full spectrum of applications for this supercooling technique certainly isn’t clear at the moment, but many feel the most practical use for the technology is actually to increase the efficiency of quantum supercomputers. As it stands now, their reliability and efficiency are compromised by “noise,” the vibrations of elements that corrupts the data being carried, leading less precise computing and output.

By cooling the components to near-stillness, the noise is reduced, if not eliminated, resulting in a more precise and reliable process, the applications of which are many.

For more color on the scientific community’s pursuit of “absolute zero,” as well as more info on the concept itself, this video should answer many of the questions you might have.

via The Howard Stern Show / YouTube

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She was there to promote "The Book of Gutsy Women," a book about heroic women co-written with her daughter, Chelsea Clinton.

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Fortunately, you can cut down on the amount of waste you produce by cutting down on disposable products. And even more fortunately, there are sustainable (and cute) replacements that won't damage the environment.

Coconut bowls


Who says sustainable can't also be stylish? These cute coconut bowls were handmade using reclaimed coconuts, making each piece one of a kind. Not only are they organic and biodegradable, but they're also durable, in case your dinner parties tend to get out of hand. The matching ebony wood spoons were polished with the same coconut oil as the bowls.

Cocostation Set of 2 Vietnamese Coconut Bowls and Spoons, $14.99; at Amazon

Solar powered phone charger


Why spend time looking around for an outlet when you can just harness the power of the sun? This solar powered phone charger will make sure your phone never dies as long as you can bask in the sun's rays. As an added bonus, this charger was made using eco-friendly silicone rubber. It's win-win all around.

Dizaul Solar Charger, 5000mAh Portable Solar Power Bank, $19.95; at Amazon, $19.95; at Amazon

Herb garden kit

Planter Pro

Put some green in your life with this herb planter. The kit comes with everything you need to get a garden growing, including a moisture meter that helps you determine if your herbs are getting the right amount of food to flourish. All the seeds included are certified to be non-GMO and non-hybrids, meaning you can have fresh, organic herbs right at your fingertips.

Planter Pro's Herb Garden Cedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazonedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazon

Reusable Keurig cups

K & J

Keurig cups are convenient, but they also create a ton of plastic waste. These Keurig-compatible plastic cups are an easy way to cut down on the amount of trash you create without cutting down on your caffeine. Additionally, you won't have to keep on buying K Cups, which means you'll be saving money and the environment.

K&J Reusable Filter Cups, $8.95 for a set of 4,; at Amazon

Low-flow shower head


Low-flow water fixtures can cut down your water consumption, which saves you money while also saving one of the Earth's resources. This shower head was designed with a lighter flow in mind, which means you'll be able to cut down on water usage without feeling like you're cutting down on your shower.

Speakman Low Flow Shower Head, $14.58; at Amazon

Bamboo safety razor


Instead of throwing away a disposable razor every time you shave, invest in an eco-friendly, reusable one. This unisex shaver isn't just sustainable, it's also sharp-looking, which means it would make a great gift for the holidays.

Zomchi Safety Razor, $16.99; at Amazon

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