NOTE: This article is only available to subscribers. Subscribe now to gain access to all articles, read exclusive interviews with top scientists from around the world, and browse the site ad free. The first month is free.

EXCLUSIVE: Scientists record temperatures below absolute zero for first time

It’s cold…really cold.

January 05, 2013

Scientists have made a startling achievement long thought to be impossible: a negative absolute temperature.

Using a reversed magnetic field on a laser-stabilized lattice of super-cooled potassium atoms, physicists at the Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics in Germany registered a temperature a “few billionths of a Kelvin” below absolute-zero.

Comments should take into account that readers may hold different opinions. With that in mind, please make sure comments are respectful, insightful, and remain focused on the article topic. In addition, readers can send us tips, press releases, or ideas for stories: