|MadSci Network: Physics|
An instructor chided me for using the term "absolute" : she suggested that my label was inappropriate and should only be applied to things like the Kelvin scale... hence my journey to find out more about the Kelvin scale. I searched several FAQ sites but only came away more puzzled. Knowing the basis of the Kelvin scale was "absolute zero", I concentrated my search on that... Worse...some chemists argued that temps below 0 Kelvin were attained experimentally. My first reaction was there must be a fault with the Kelvin scale- 0 K must not equal absolute zero (and felt quite smug). However these folks continued to use "0 K" and "absolute zero" interchangeably. I'm confused... I've heard all sorts of things about absolute zero: electrons would end up in the nucleus at this point... no further energy could be extracted from a system at absolute zero, etc... To top it all off, I've got some vague inklings that "absolute zero" could not exist for any system because of the equivalence of matter and energy and the uncertainty principle (a system having matter has some energy and for a system at absolute zero one could theoretically describe it by posiiton alone). If my understanding is correct, the same might hold true of a vacuum because of quantum flux and virtual particles and .... WELL YOU SEE WHAT SORT OF KNOT I'VE TWISTED MYSELF INTO...YOUR HELP WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED. THANKS.
Re: Is 0K absolute zero and does absolute zero exist?
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