Race for Absolute Zero • 2007 • episode "2/2" • Absolute Zero

Category: Physics

This two-part scientific detective tale tells the story of a remarkable group of pioneers who wanted to reach the ultimate extreme: absolute zero, a place so cold that the physical world as we know it doesn't exist, electricity flows without resistance, fluids defy gravity and the speed of light can be reduced to 38 miles per hour. Each film features a strange cast of eccentric characters, including: Clarence Birds Eye; Frederic 'Ice King' Tudor, who founded an empire harvesting ice; and James Dewar, who almost drove himself crazy by trying to liquefy hydrogen. Absolute zero became the Holy Grail of temperature physicists and is considered the gateway to many new technologies, such as nano-construction, neurological networks and quantum computing. The possibilities, it seems, are limitless. Part 2: Race for Absolute Zero Focuses on the fierce rivalry that took place in the laboratories in Britain, Holland, France and Poland as they sought the ultimate extreme of cold. The program will follow the extraordinary discoveries of superconductivity and superfluidity and the attempt to produce a new form of matter that Albert Einstein predicted would exist within a few billionths of degrees above absolute zero.

You might also like

Double Slit Experiment

The double-slit experiment is a demonstration that light and matter can display characteristics of both classically defined waves and particles; moreover, it displays the fundamentally probabilistic nature of quantum mechanical phenomena.


The Big Picture

Award-winning physicist Sean Carroll is known for his keen observations on the relationship between humanity and the laws of nature, and finding where human purpose and meaning fit into a scientific world view.

2016 • Curiosity Retreats: 2016 Lectures • Physics

For the Love of Physics (Walter Lewin's Last Lecture)

On May 16, 2011, Professor of Physics Emeritus Walter Lewin returned to MIT lecture hall 26-100 for a physics talk and book signing, complete with some of his most famous physics demonstrations to celebrate the publication of his new book For The Love Of Physics: From the End of the Rainbow to the Edge of Time - A Journey Through the Wonders of Physics, written with Warren Goldstein.

2014 • Physics

Making Sound

At the Palace of Westminster, Helen teams up with scientists from the University of Leicester to carry out state-of-the-art measurements using lasers to reveal how the most famous bell in the world - Big Ben - vibrates to create pressure waves in the air at particular frequencies. This is how Big Ben produces its distinct sound. It's the first time that these laser measurements have been done on Big Ben. At the summit of Stromboli, one of Europe's most active volcanoes, Helen and volcanologist Dr Jeffrey Johnson use a special microphone to record the extraordinary deep tone produced by the volcano as it explodes. Finally, at the University of Cambridge's Institute of Astronomy, Helen meets a scientist who has discovered evidence of sound waves in space, created by a giant black hole. These sounds are one million billion times lower than the limit of human hearing

2017 • Sound Waves: The Symphony of Physics • Physics

Out of Thin Air (1754-1806)

One of science’s great odd couples — British minister Joseph Priestley and French tax administrator Antoine Lavoisier — together discover a fantastic new gas called oxygen, overturning the reigning theory of chemistry and triggering a worldwide search for new elements. Soon caught up in the hunt is science’s first great showman, a precocious British chemist named Humphry Davy, who dazzles London audiences with his lectures, introduces them to laughing gas and turns the battery into a powerful tool in the search for new elements.

2015 • The Mystery of Matter: Search for the Elements • Physics

What Happened to Antimatter?

Particles come in pairs, which is why there should be an equal amount of matter and antimatter in the universe. Yet, scientists have not been able to detect any in the visible universe. Where is this missing antimatter?

TED-Ed • Physics