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Absolute Zero: The Conquest Of Cold

Season 35, Episode 4 of 18

"Absolute Zero" presents the epic story of humanity's struggle to master extreme cold. This mini-series re-creates groundbreaking discoveries across four centuries that expanded our knowledge of low temperatures and led ultimately to today's cutting edge "cold technologies." Its memorable characters range from a 17th-century court magician who rigged a primitive form of air conditioning in Westminster Abbey to the original Captain Birdseye, who invented frozen food. For the first time on television, these programs tell the story of the decades-long scientific race between two leading chemists to liquefy helium and nitrogen, which opened the door to the modern era of refrigeration and modern air conditioning, as well as a recent Nobel-winning breakthrough, the production of a new form of matter that Albert Einstein predicted would exist within a few billionths of a degree above absolute zero. "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.

Previously Aired

Day
Time
Channel
12/7/2010
8 p.m.
12/8/2010
1 a.m.
12/8/2010
7 p.m.
12/15/2010
7 p.m.
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