Atoms Reach Record Temperature, Colder than Absolute Zero
Absolute zero is often thought to be the coldest temperature possible. But now researchers show they can achieve even lower temperatures for a strange realm of "negative temperatures." Oddly, another way to look at these negative temperatures is to consider them hotter than infinity, researchers added. This unusual advance could lead to new engines that could technically be more than 100 percent efficient, and shed light on mysteries such as dark energy, the mysterious substance that is apparently pulling our universe apart. An object's temperature is a measure of how much its atoms move — the colder an object is, the slower the atoms are. Bizarro negative temperatures To comprehend the negative temperatures scientists have now devised, one might think of temperature as existing on a scale that is actually a loop, not linear. With positive temperatures, atoms more likely occupy low-energy states than high-energy states, a pattern known as Boltzmann distribution in physics.