absolute zero


Definition of absolute zero

: a theoretical temperature characterized by complete absence of heat and motion and equivalent to exactly −273.15°C or −459.67°F

Examples of absolute zero in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Kuiper Belt objects are incredibly cold — just 35 degrees Kelvin above absolute zero. Loren Grush, The Verge, "On New Year’s Day, a spacecraft will zoom by the most distant object humanity has ever visited," 27 Dec. 2018 That will have effects on things much more important than the party balloon industry; with a boiling point near absolute zero, the inert gas has all kinds of applications and uses in medicine and technology. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "Researchers Have Found a Crucial Cache of Helium Underground in Africa," 28 June 2016 This series of graphs show the changing density of a cloud of atoms as it is cooled to lower temperatures (going from left to right) approaching absolute zero. Chris Ciaccia, Fox News, "NASA has created the coldest spot ever," 9 Aug. 2018 Zero Kelvin, also known as absolute zero, is the equivalent of minus 459 degrees Fahrenheit. Chris Ciaccia, Fox News, "NASA has created the coldest spot ever," 9 Aug. 2018 The only practical superconductors developed thus far must be cooled to within a few degrees of absolute zero before this state takes hold. Neil Savage, Scientific American, "What Are the Limits of Manipulating Nature?," 8 May 2018 Unlike Hubble, which circles the planet in low Earth orbit, James Webb will perch in an orbit beyond the moon, cooled to nearly absolute zero, where no astronauts will be able to get to it and make repairs. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "James Webb Space Telescope Delayed Again, This Time Until May 2020," 27 Mar. 2018 Each tower will contain six crystals slotted into their own units, and the four towers will be placed in a cryogenic container called the SNOBOX to cool the experiment to near absolute zero. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "The Search for Dark Matter Continues, More Than a Mile Underground," 9 May 2018 The exotic devices operate at temperatures close to absolute zero. Tom Simonite, WIRED, "Google, Alibaba Spar Over Timeline for 'Quantum Supremacy'," 19 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'absolute zero.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of absolute zero

1798, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

5 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for absolute zero

The first known use of absolute zero was in 1798

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More Definitions for absolute zero

absolute zero


English Language Learners Definition of absolute zero

: the temperature that is believed to be the lowest possible temperature

absolute zero


Medical Definition of absolute zero

: a theoretical temperature characterized by complete absence of heat and equivalent to exactly −273.15°C or −459.67°F

More from Merriam-Webster on absolute zero

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about absolute zero

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