Low-temperature thermodynamics

In thermodynamics, low-temperature thermodynamics is the study of the laws of thermodynamics in relation to the properties of matter at temperatures approaching or close to absolute zero.

In 1703, French physicist Guillaume Amontons mathematically derived the idea of an “absolute zero”. [1]

In circa 1870, Polish physical chemist Sigmund Wroblewski, following studies under Hermann Helmholtz at the University of Berlin, met German physicist Rudolf Clausius, while in recuperation from vision surgery in the Swiss Alps, who told him to continue on with his low temperature work, and to concentrate on things related to thermodynamics. [1] In 1883, Wroblewsi, working together with Carl Olszewski, would make a measurable quantity of liquid oxygen. [4]

In 1912, German physical chemist Walther Nernst pointed out that absolute zero could not be reached because of the third law. [2] In 1917, Nernst summarized the third law with the terse statement that: [3]

“It is impossible to take all heat from a body.”

In 1925, Albert Einstein and Satyenda Bose predicted a new state of matter at ultra-low temperatures.

In 1995, Einstein and Bose's "new state of matter", called Bose-Einstein condensate, is created at 1.7E-7 K by Americans Eric Cornell and Carl Wieman at Colorado University, Boulder.

1. Shachtman, Tom. (1999). Absolute Zero and the Quest for Absolute Cold (pg. 131). New York: Mariner Books.
2. Nernst, Walther. (1912). “Thermodynamics and Specific Heat” (“Thermodynamik und Spezifische Warme”, Berichte der knoiglichen preubischen Akademie der Wissenschaften.
3. Nernst, Walther. (1917). “Theoretical and Experimental Basis for the New Heat Theorem” (Die Theoretischen und Experimentellen Grundalgen des Neuen Waresatzes). Verlag W. Knapp, Halle, pgs. 77.
4. Absolute zero (historical timeline) – Devillier.com.

Further reading
● Enss, Christian and Hunklinger, Siegried. (2005). Low-temperature Physics (section: 10.2.1 Thermodynamics of Superconductors, pgs. 358-). Springer.
● Muller, Ingo. (2007). A History of Thermodynamics (low-temperature thermodynamics, pgs. 165-). Springer.

External links
Nobel Laureates (low-temperature physics) – Devillier.com.

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