With our current knowledge of how temperature works there is no upper limit, this means materials can keep getting hotter and hotter to no end. This is not the case for lower temperatures, with the coldest being termed absolute zero, at -459.67 degrees Fahrenheit or -273.15 Celsius, but scientists have never actually generated this cold temperature in a lab.
However, a team of German scientists managed to achieve a temperature of 38 trillionths of a degree above absolute zero, the coldest on record! This chilling experiment was carried out at the Bremen Drop Tower, trapped rubidium gas under a magnetic field in an extremely cold vacuum chamber. During the investigation, the atoms of rubidium plummeted down the tower, and for the two seconds they were falling, this research facility was the coldest spot on the earth.
The purpose of the experiment was to study the phenomenon of how atoms clump together to form a huge ‘super’ atom at these ultra-low conditions. This allows researchers to study quantum mechanics on a larger scale, hopefully adding further information to the mysterious workings of subatomic particles.
When absolute zero is reached particle motion stops and other strange things also start to happen. According to a Nature Physics study, these include light becoming liquid so it is able to be poured into a container and even atoms existing in the same place at once.
Out in space, super cold environments such as these exist naturally. According to the European Space Agency, the coldest known point is the Boomerang Nebula at -272˚C. Experiments such as this one may help gain further understanding of particle dynamics in these extreme conditions and also help advance quantum computing.
Source study: Live Science – Scientists just broke the record for the coldest temperature ever recorded in a lab