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Absolute Zero: The Conquest Of Cold/The Race For

Season 35, Episode 4 of 18

"Absolute Zero" begins with "The Conquest of Cold." NOVA brings the history of this frosty subject to life with historical recreations of great moments in low-temperature research and interviews with noted historians and scientists, including Simon Schaffer of the University of Cambridge, and Nobel laureates Eric Cornell and Carl Wieman of the University of Colorado at Boulder and Wolfgang Ketterle of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Part One, "The Conquest of Cold," opens in the 1600s when the nature of cold and even heat were a complete mystery. "The Race for Absolute Zero," which picks up the story in the late 19th century, when researchers plunged cold science to new lows as they succeeded in reaching the forbidding realm at which oxygen and then nitrogen liquefy. The master of this technology was Scottish chemist James Dewar, who pursued the holy grail of the field--liquefying hydrogen at minus 253 C, just 20 degrees above absolute zero.

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