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 In some materials, at temperatures close to absolute zero, magnetic fields shut down to short range, and electrical resistance disappears. Andrew Crumey, WSJ, 3 June 2022 Next, multiple lasers bombard the strontium atoms with photons and magnetic fields that slow atom momentum to a near motionless state, lowering the atom’s temperatures to about one-millionth of a degree above absolute zero. Paul Smith-goodson, Forbes, 2 June 2022 One cools loops of wire to near –273.15 degrees Celsius, or absolute zero, turning them into superconductors where current flows with virtually no resistance. Neil Savage, Scientific American, 5 July 2017 In the distant future, the universe will approach absolute zero at the end of everything (see below). Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, 3 Mar. 2022 Even at absolute zero, spins continue to fluctuate, analogous to how atoms slosh in a liquid. Quanta Magazine, 2 Dec. 2021 The OpenSuperQ project at Sweden’s Chalmers University of Technology moved the ball forward in June with a new thermometer capable of accurately measuring the extremely low temperatures (close to absolute zero) required during quantum calculations. John Sullivan, Forbes, 4 Nov. 2021 Fahrenheit, which is barely warmer than absolute zero. Ramin Skibba, Wired, 23 Dec. 2021 Our qubits operate in a dilution refrigerator that’s about the size of a 55-gallon drum, and uses a special isotope of helium to cool them a fraction of a degree above absolute zero (roughly –273 degrees Celsius). Larry Greenemeier, Scientific American, 30 May 2018 See More

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.

First Known Use of absolute zero

1798, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for absolute zero

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The first known use of absolute zero was in 1798

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Last Updated

12 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Absolute zero.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/absolute%20zero. Accessed 27 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for absolute zero

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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