Scientists created coldest ever cubic meter in Universe

Oct 31, 2014 17:15 IST

An international team of scientists in the month of October 2014 claimed to have set the world record for creating coldest cubic meter in the Universe.

Scientists are working on the cryostat that's part of the Cryogenic Underground Observatory for Rare Events experiment (CUORE) cooled an 880-pound block of copper to a temperature of six milliKelvins.

Dr. Karsten Heeger, director of Yale's Arthur W. Wright Laboratory, has been involved in the CUORE collaboration, which conducts the cryogenics research. The collaboration was based at the Gran Sasso National Laboratory in Italy. It involves 130 scientists from the U.S., Italy, China, Spain, France, and other countries.

About the research

An Italian lab has cooled a cubic metre of copper to within a tiny fraction of absolute zero. The cooled copper mass was the coldest cubic metre in the universe for over 15 days.

It is the first experiment ever to cool a mass and a volume of this size to a temperature this close to absolute zero (0 Kelvin). The cubic metre (35 cubic feet) of copper weighing 400 kilograms was brought to a temperature of six milliKelvins or minus 273.144 Celsius (minus 459.66 Fahrenheit).

Absolute zero is considered as the lowest possible temperature. It is -273.15 C or zero on the Kelvin scale. It was named after 19th-century Irish engineer and physicist William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin, credited with establishing the correct value of the temperature.

Background
The record-setting cold temperature would be a prelude to another experiment that might help explain the behavior of ghostly subatomic particles known as neutrinos, and it might answer longstanding questions about the composition of matter in the universe. The process was achieved with a chamber-like device known as a cryostat.

Scientists stated that the experiment would look at a rare process called neutrinoless double-beta decay. With the detection of this process, it would let researchers to demonstrate, for the first time, that neutrinos and antineutrinos are the same.

The research will thereby offer a possible explanation for the abundance of matter, rather than anti-matter, in the universe. Now that the cryostat has reached base temperature, the commissioning and cryogenic testing of the calibration system will take place in the next few month.

About CUORE

CUORE is located at Italy's Gran Sasso mountain, the highest peak in the Apennines some 120 kilometres from Rome. The Cryogenic Underground Observatory for Rare Events (CUORE) is a particle physics facility located at the Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso in Italy.

Once the CUORE experiment is fully operational, it will study important properties of neutrinos, the fundamental, subatomic particles that are created by radioactive decay and do not carry an electrical charge.

 

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