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

Worse yet, the vibrations will not stop until the crystal reaches absolute zero, which is impossible. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Straining a diamond makes silicon-based qubit behave," 20 Sep. 2018 These are clouds of hundreds of thousands of atoms that, when chilled to just above absolute zero, behave as waves that synchronize into a single quantum object. Elizabeth Gibney, Scientific American, "Universe’s Coolest Lab Set to Open Quantum World," 9 May 2018 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

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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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

technical : 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

Comments on absolute zero

What made you want to look up absolute zero? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to boil down or concentrate

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