PBS Airdate: October 30, 2013
DAVID POGUE: Cold is the new hot.
Join me on a adventure bottomward the thermometer, abroad from the mild apple we inhabit, to the branch of cold.
Cold is a force we can accouter to save us, the actuality we are fabricated of.
GREG FAHY (21st Aeon Medicine): The adeptness to bottle organs for transplantation.
DAVID POGUE: â¦and alike accompany us backâ¦
NEWSCASTER: â¦back from the dead.
DAVID POGUE: â¦came aback to life.
MARK B. ROTH (Fred Hutchinson Cancer Analysis Center): Oh, yeah.
DAVID POGUE: We are activity to a chaotic world, breadth calefaction is the enemy…
ERIC CORNELL (JILA/National Institute of Standards and Technology): Calefaction is like noise.
DAVID POGUE: â¦random activity and assault that disturbs and destroys…
ERIC CORNELL: But if you get things really, absolutely cold, you can accept to what attributes is whispering to you.
DAVID POGUE: â¦so algid that accustomed physics breach bottomward and the rules change. Things levitateâ¦
We will biking to a abode so algid that new states of bulk are born, breadth algid is creating a new brand of computers, a breakthrough bound aloft the best able today.
GEORDIE ROSE (D-Wave Systems, Inc.): By the time you get to about 500 bits, you accept added possibilities than there are atoms in the arresting universe.
DAVID POGUE: I’m David Pogue. Join me tonight, as we adventure bottomward the thermometerâ¦
MARTIN ZWIERLEIN (Massachusetts Institute of Technology): This is the coldest atom in the cosmos appropriate now..
DAVID POGUE: That’s amazing. I appetite to get its autograph.
I’m alpha my boating bottomward the thermometer from a actual mild abode in the cosmos Earth. Now, you may anticipate it gets appealing algid here. The everyman temperature anytime recorded was minus-128 degrees Fahrenheit, in Vostok, Antarctica, in 1983. But that’s a calefaction beachcomber compared to Saturn, Pluto and best of alien space.
We’ll get a lot colder than that as we adventure bottomward into the awe-inspiring apple of cold, arise complete zero.
But I’m accepting advanced of myself. Our aboriginal stop is one we can all chronicle to: 98.6 degrees, the temperature of my body. Afore I came hereâ¦
JOHN CASTELLANI (United States Army Analysis Institute of Ecology Medicine): We’re activity to go into the chambers.
DAVID POGUE: The chambers? Sounds ominous.
Turns out, to apprentice about the cold, first, I accept to get hot.
Eighty-two-point-nine? That absolutely doesn’t complete so bad.
JOHN CASTELLANI: We are activity to put you a little hotter than that today.
DAVID POGUE: John Castellani is a scientist at the Army’s Doriot analysis chamber.
JOHN CASTELLANI: Yeah, so this is our ecology chamber: 60 anxiety long…
DAVID POGUE: This gigantic allowance is advised to re-create every believable ambiance that a soldier adeptness face, from the frigid mountains of Afghanistan, to the 120-degree chastening of Iraq.
JOHN CASTELLANI: â¦with the wind, and the clamminess control.
DAVID POGUE: In adjustment for this abode to work, there’s one added affair they need: volunteers.
Will we be seeing one of these poor victims.
JOHN CASTELLANI: The abandoned victim that we’re activity to see in actuality today is yourself.
DAVID POGUE: Castellani “enlisted” me to advice analysis agency of befitting soldiers air-conditioned in the heat. To do this, they’ll charge to clue my basal signs.
MARISSA SPITZ: For bulk temperature, you’ll be application this abdominal probe.
DAVID POGUE: Rectal probe?.
MARISSA SPITZ: It may feel a bit uncomfortable, but.
DAVID POGUE: No kidding.
MARISSA SPITZ: â¦all the way past, to accomplish abiding it doesn’t abatement out.
DAVID POGUE: How about I aloof go in there and acquaint you how I am? Appealing hot.
MARISSA SPITZ: This is mostly for your safety.
DAVID POGUE: Oh, acknowledgment for cerebration of me.
Next, they accouterments me in 40 pounds of anatomy armor. And then, it’s into the chamber.
JOHN CASTELLANI: It’s a hundred and four degrees in here.
DAVID POGUE: A hundred and four.
JOHN CASTELLANI: Yes.
DAVID POGUE: Can I get a little lemon.
Within minutes, my temperature is activity up.
What is that? An hour.
WOMAN: Actually, it’s been about four minutes.
JOHN CASTELLANI: Their affection ante will alpha to rise, their bulk temperatures alpha to rise.
Your bulk temperature is about 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit.
Eventually, what will arise is they’ll become a calefaction burnout casualty.
DAVID POGUE: After two hours, I alleged it quits.
Please acquaint me there was some accurate accurate purpose for that.
JOHN CASTELLANI: There is. I mean, really, what we’re aggravating to accept is—when we advance this affectionate of gear—is can we advance it in such a way that we can acquiesce the anatomy to be able to be able to get rid of the heat?
DAVID POGUE: Oh, man.
And why did I get so hot? Because of some basal laws of physics, which I assume to accept absent in my aerial academy science class. For example: What is heat? What is temperature? And what is cold.
EDWARD YARMAK, JR. (Arctic Foundations, Inc.): What did they advise you.
WOMAN: Heat is energy.
ERIC CORNELL: Disorganized energy.
BRIAN WOWK (21st Aeon Medicine): The accordance of molecules.
ERIC CORNELL: The motion of atoms.
DAVID POGUE: The faster they move around, the added activity they have. That’s heat. Temperature is a admeasurement of how abundant calefaction activity they have.
ERIC CORNELL: Temperature is barometer the motion of atoms.
DAVID POGUE: Okay, so calefaction absolutely is something. It’s energy, motion, and you can admeasurement how abundant of it you have.
ERIC CORNELL: More and added heat, your temperature goes up.
DAVID POGUE: But algid is addition story.
ED YARMAK: Because there’s no algid flow, there’s calefaction flow.
DAVID POGUE: Really.
ERIC CORNELL: If you booty calefaction out, your temperature goes down.
DAVID POGUE: You mean, you don’t put algid in? No.
ED YARMAK: No. No. There’s absolutely no such affair as “cold.”
DAVID POGUE: So algid is aloof the absence of heat? So things don’t anytime absolutely get colder.
ED YARMAK: No, they aloof get beneath hotter.
DAVID POGUE: Yeah, that has a abundant arena to it. “Making Stuff: Beneath Hotter.” That aloof seems backwards.
JOHN CASTELLANI: So, I accept a y actuality for you.
DAVID POGUE: But Castellani showed me that how we anticipate “cold” works.
Cold is aloof hasty appropriate into my flesh.
â¦can absolutely be the adverse of what’s happening.
JOHN CASTELLANI: Absolutely the calefaction from your duke is affective into the spoon, not the added way around. Calefaction moves from areas of hotter temperatures, or aerial energy, to areas of lower temperature, or low energy.
DAVID POGUE: You can see it through the eyes of this thermal camera, breadth mild things, like my hand, appearance up as ablaze orange, and colder things like the y are dark.
And abiding enough.
JOHN CASTELLANI: If you put the y up adjoin your hand, we can see, heat’s activity from your duke into the spoon.
DAVID POGUE: That’s crazy.
The acumen I was accepting so hot on my affected advance was the air was hotter, at a college activity state, than my skin. So, instead of the calefaction from my bulk abounding out to the room, the calefaction from the allowance flowed into my core.
The army has a air-conditioned solution.
JOHN CASTELLANI: So, David, this is how we’re activity to air-conditioned you off. So what this is is a cooling garment. It’s about activity to broadcast baptize through here. We’re activity to angle this up to a babyish refrigerator.
DAVID POGUE: Ooh! I aloof got chills.
JOHN CASTELLANI: â¦and accumulate it at about a nice, air-conditioned 70 degrees.
DAVID POGUE: I don’t know, but I’ve been told.
SOLDIERS: I don’t know, but I’ve been told.
DAVID POGUE: â¦hundred and four degrees gets old.
SOLDIERS: â¦hundred and four degrees gets old.
DAVID POGUE: Just like aftermost time, my bulk temperature rises in the 104-degree environment. But this time, the heat’s got about to go: into the vest, and out through the algidity unit.
JOHN CASTELLANI: A cogent difference: 82 degrees Fahrenheit, compared to aftermost time, aback it was up about 95 or 96 degrees.
DAVID POGUE: A belong is best if it is cold.
SOLDIERS: A belong is best if it is cold.
JOHN CASTELLANI: He is activity better. He seems in bigger spirits, and those are all the allowances that we see with this accurate technology.
DAVID POGUE: An hour and a bisected later, as they aish my Kevlar vest, that aphotic dejected area, that’s my : 78 degrees. Cool, baby.
But this is aloof the alpha of what Castellani has in abundance for me.
Forty-one degrees, that’s the temperature in the chamber, as ice baptize rains bottomward on me.
JOHN CASTELLANI: We’re activity to do this for 10 minutes.
DAVID POGUE: Ten minutes.
JOHN CASTELLANI: So, to affectionate of accord you an abstraction of what’s activity on with you physiologically appropriate now.
DAVID POGUE: I apperceive what’s activity on with me physiologically! I’m axis into an ice cube.
JOHN CASTELLANI: Yeah.
DAVID POGUE: Castellani and his colleagues developed this procedure, not to ache folks, but to breach a mystery. In 1995, a band of army rangers waded through a swamp in Florida. Aural hours, four died of hypothermia, yet the temperature was 59 degrees.
To accept why they died in such abstemious conditions, the army developed this experiment.
So afterwards my algid shower?
A 30-minute march.
JOHN CASTELLANI: We’re activity to access the wind.
DAVID POGUE: â¦in 15-mile-an-hour wind.
JOHN CASTELLANI: To mimic, again, you’re outside.
DAVID POGUE: He repeats this.
JOHN CASTELLANI: We’re activity to accept it rain on you again.
DAVID POGUE: â¦over and over.
Suddenly, I’m absent of the canicule aback it was a hundred and four.
Their analysis apparent that it was this aggregate of wet, algid and wind that asleep the rangers.
JOHN CASTELLANI: So, if you were, say, in 50-degree baptize and absorbed to the , that baptize is administering so abundant added calefaction abroad from you than would air.
DAVID POGUE: I can see that.
Their analysis accustomed assurance guidelines for troops in the cold.
JOHN CASTELLANI: We may be able to acquaint people, you know, you may be able to aftermost maybe an hour or an hour and a half, in those kinds of conditions.
DAVID POGUE: What are the aboriginal access signs of hypothermia.
JOHN CASTELLANI: Well, certainly, actual acute shivering.
DAVID POGUE: Check.
JOHN CASTELLANI: Changes, for example, in a person’s adeptness to airing or their gait.
DAVID POGUE: What.
JOHN CASTELLANI: They alpha to , they alpha to mumble.
DAVID POGUE: [Mumbles]
JOHN CASTELLANI: Three, two, one, go.
DAVID POGUE: The analysis is advised to go on for six hours, but afterwards aloof an hour of this, it was time for my career as an army analysis accountable to arise to an end.
JOHN CASTELLANI: I anticipate we’re activity to alarm it quits now, okay.
DAVID POGUE: So far, I’ve abstruse how baleful hypothermia can be, but as I abide bottomward the thermometer to our aing stop, 91.4 degrees, I’m about to ascertain that sometimes the adverse can be true.
CLIFTON CALLAWAY (University of Pittsburgh): This is absolutely a accessory to abet hypothermia in patients.
DAVID POGUE: Excuse me! Accept you never heard of “First, do no harm?” Hypothermia kills you.
Dr. Clif Callaway is a assistant at the University of Pittsburgh.
CLIFTON CALLAWAY: There are situations in which hypothermia can be beneficial, for example, patients afterwards cardiac arrest.
DAVID POGUE: Patients like Susan Koeppen, a mother of three. A few years ago, she set out for a run with friends.
SUSAN KOEPPEN (Cardiac Arrest Survivor): It was a admirable Sunday morning, in November.
DAVID POGUE: She had no abstraction what was in store.
SUSAN KOEPPEN: We’re about two afar into the run.
DAVID POGUE: When a affection valve aback failed.
SUSAN KOEPPEN: I put my calmly on my knees, and afresh burst on the sidewalk.
CLIFTON CALLAWAY: Her affection stopped.
SUSAN KOEPPEN: I was gone.
CLIFTON CALLAWAY: Cardiac arrest; paramedics arrived. They were able to balance her and carriage her to the hospital.
DAVID POGUE: Fortunately, Callaway and his colleagues were there.
Their goal: to stop the academician accident that anon follows cardiac arrest.
CLIFTON CALLAWAY: She was in a coma. We acclimated cooling blankets for hypothermia therapy.
DAVID POGUE: To anticipate abiding academician damage, in the after-effects of cardiac arrest, they abandoned her anatomy temperature to 91 degrees. Two canicule later, they broiled her aback up. And anon after,.
CLIFTON CALLAWAY: She came about and talked to her bedmate for the aboriginal time.
SUSAN KOEPPEN: I said, “Where am I?
(Susan Koeppen’s Husband): You’re in Shadyside Hospital, Honey.
SUSAN KOEPPEN: Why.
(Susan Koeppen’s Husband): You never fabricated it home from your run on Sunday.
DAVID POGUE: A year later, she had absolutely recovered.
SUSAN KOEPPEN: Hypothermia analysis adored my life, adored my brain, and I’m a mom and a wife, like I was before.
DAVID POGUE: The activity that adored her activity is alleged ameliorative hypothermia, and I’m about to ascertain how it works.
VOICE ON MACHINE: Analysis started.
DAVID POGUE: I admit her. She’s the adult on the Brilliant Trek: Enterprise.
CLIFTON CALLAWAY: This accessory has baptize advancing in through this tubing and pulls calefaction out of your body.
DAVID POGUE: Very cold.
Just like the army’s cooling vest, but here, in adjustment to activity academician damage, Callaway brings bottomward anatomy temperatures to 91 degrees.
CLIFTON CALLAWAY: It lowers the metaism, it reduces academician swelling, it reduces the likelihood of accepting seizures.
DAVID POGUE: This has accepted appreciably effective.
CLIFTON CALLAWAY: The allowance of animate up are about two to three times greater for the accommodating with hypothermia treatment, compared to the accommodating without.
DAVID POGUE: But, amazingly, in Arctic America abandoned 40 percent of cardiac arrest patients get this treatment.
Wait. It triples your adventitious of survival, but abandoned 40 percent of patients get the treatment.
CLIFTON CALLAWAY: Yeah, it’s disappointing. We absolutely ambition it was done added anxiously for added patients.
DAVID POGUE: Yeah, me too.
But there’s a limit. His analysis can abandoned save the advantageous few cases breadth paramedics accompany aback a baby aural minutes. Abounding agony patients die on the way to the hospital.
But biochemist Mark Roth says he has a way to save abounding of them: by accepting colder, a lot colder.
MARK ROTH: Well, a simple way to anticipate about it, David, is that we’re aggravating to booty the “emergency” out of “emergency medicine.
DAVID POGUE: For years, he’s been aggravating to advance a adjustment that could one day buy agony patients time, by bottomward their bulk temperatures bottomward as far as 60 degrees. The botheration is that aback bodies get that cold, it usually kills them—usually.
MARK ROTH: There are these outliers.
DAVID POGUE: He believes the acknowledgment to extenuative bags of lives lies aural these abstruse cases; cases of bodies who suffered hypothermia so severe, it chock-full their hearts, and yet they came aback to life.
Consider the case of Janice Goodger.
NEWSCASTER: â¦to the border of afterlife and back.
DAVID POGUE: Her affection stopped. She was unconscious, in the freezing snow, for four hours.
MARK ROTH: She was brought to the hospital. Twenty-four hours later, absolved out of the hospital, abnegation any treatment, and has been accomplished since.
Her bulk temperature abandoned to 70 degrees.
Addition example: Erika Nordby, in Canada.
DAVID POGUE: A one-year-old, her bulk temperature abandoned to 61 degrees, afterwards she wandered into freezing algid weather, cutting annihilation but a diaper.
MARK ROTH: They didn’t acquisition her ’til morning.
DAVID POGUE: After two hours afterwards a heartbeat, she too was revived.
MARK ROTH: â¦and additionally fabricated a abounding recovery.
DAVID POGUE: But no one’s gotten colder than Anna Bagenholm.
MARK ROTH: She has the almanac for the everyman bulk temperature, at 56.7 degrees Fahrenheit.
NEWSCASTER: She was skiing bottomward a avalanche gully a Narvik, in arctic Norway, aback she fell arch aboriginal into a river.
BRYANT GUMBEL (News Clip): â¦clinically asleep for three hours.
DAVID POGUE: Three hours.
MARK ROTH: Right, right.
NEWSCASTER: It took doctors nine hours to animate her.
DAVID POGUE: She came aback to life.
MARK ROTH: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah.
BRYANT GUMBEL (News Clip): Anna Bagenholm is aback at assignment and able-bodied abundant to be with us.
DAVID POGUE: In anniversary of these cases, their hearts chock-full assault for hours, yet their accuracy weren’t damaged by abridgement of oxygen.
MARK ROTH: How do the exceptions arise to be? There charge be some way to abide out there and not crave oxygen, there has to be, or these bodies would be dead.
DAVID POGUE: He is analytic for a way to do the aforementioned for agony patients: barrier their appeal for oxygen and not accident the brain, by cooling them way down.
But there is a big problem.
MARK ROTH: If you’re aggravating to use the algid to actualize medical benefit, there’s a array of axiological problem. Mammals activity that, and they accomplish heat, application up assets in your anatomy in adjustment to do that.
DAVID POGUE: As I apparent aback I was algidity in the army’s analysis chamber, aback bodies get cold, their metaism absolutely increases and they bake added oxygen to accomplish heat.
That’s what asleep the rangers in the swamp. As they fought to breach warm, their bodies austere through all the accessible calories, craving their accuracy of oxygen.
MARK ROTH: Because that’s the ammunition that, already you bake through it, you are dead.
DAVID POGUE: Roth knew that the acumen that Anna Bagenholm and the others survived and the rangers didn’t, is that they were able to somehow shut off their body’s appeal for oxygen. But how could he do the same.
MARK ROTH: So how do I do that? That was a complete puzzle.
DAVID POGUE: The acknowledgment came to him one night, while he was watching TV.
MARK ROTH: While sitting on my couch at home, watching a NOVA appearance about a cavern in Mexico, they said cavern air had a little bit of hydrogen sulfide in it..
SCIENTIST ON NOVA (NOVA Film Clip): So we abrasion these gas masks to advice clarify out the hydrogen sulfide.
MARK ROTH: And she said that if you go in there afterwards this respirator, afresh you will collapse to the ground. Anon I thought, “That’s it!
DAVID POGUE: He anticipation that hydrogen sulfide adeptness aloof be the key. He knew that it artlessly occurs, in babyish quantities, in the brain, breadth it helps the beef adapt oxygen consumption. But he additionally knew that too abundant of it overwhelms the cells, axis off their adeptness to blot oxygen, craving them.
He wondered if he added aloof a little to the air, to access the bulk in the academician by aloof a minute quantity, that instead of craving the brain, he could acutely abate its charge for oxygen.
He approved it on mice.
MARK ROTH: â¦room air abstemious with hydrogen sulfide.
DAVID POGUE: After three hours, its bulk temperature drops about 30 degrees.
MARK ROTH: The abrasion is aerial now at about 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
DAVID POGUE: Usually the abrasion would activity the algid and bake through its accumulation of oxygen.
MARK ROTH: The abrasion no best responds to cooling by authoritative heat; it absolutely aloof gets colder.
DAVID POGUE: Because of the hydrogen sulfide, its brain’s appeal for oxygen has abandoned by 90 percent.
MARK ROTH: An beastly in this accompaniment would survive contrarily baleful oxygen deprivation.
DAVID POGUE: Roth thinks that he can do the aforementioned for people. The ambition is to clinically alike the phenomenon that adored these people’s lives by accustomed hydrogen sulfide intravenously. And if he can do that, he will accommodate emergency anesthetic and save bags of lives.
It seems the further bottomward the thermometer we go, the added abeyant algid has for extenuative lives. So why stop at 60 degrees? Why not get alike colder, to freezing, like in the movies.
Prometheus clip: Suspended animation.
DAVID POGUE: Yes! Suspended animation.
Prometheus clip: It’s inevitable.
DAVID POGUE: â¦to accomplish beastly time capsules.
Austin Powers clip: Powers volunteered to accept himself frozen.
DAVID POGUE: â¦or to biking to addition solar system.
2001: A Amplitude Odyssey clip: I tucked my aggregation in for the continued sleep.
DAVID POGUE: But there’s a acumen this is alleged science “fiction.” The beastly anatomy is about 60 percent water. And aback baptize changes from a aqueous into ice, the molecules stop affective about advisedly and lock calm to anatomy crystals, and that destroys cells.
So far, no one has been able to get about that botheration with people, but there is a beastly that has.
JON COSTANZO (Miami University): So we acquisition it, generally, beneath the blade litter.
DAVID POGUE: Cryobiologist Jon Costanzo studies an beastly that has baffled the botheration of freezing.
â¦the Arctic American copse frog.
JON COSTANZO: Some of these animals can, in fact, survive freezing and thawing of their anatomy fluids.
DAVID POGUE: Back at his lab, he pulled one out from a abysmal freeze.
JON COSTANZO: Let’s go booty a look.
DAVID POGUE: Whoa. Oh, man.
JON COSTANZO: There’s no heartbeat. There’s no brainwaves..
DAVID POGUE: A asleep frog.
JON COSTANZO: No. No, it isn’t.
DAVID POGUE: It’s a brick of ice.
JON COSTANZO: It’s actual abundant alive.
DAVID POGUE: If there’s no academician activity, it’s dead.
JON COSTANZO: Clinically, perhaps, but we’ve apparent them thaw and arise aback to life.
DAVID POGUE: How would that be possible? Ice destroys cells, right.
JON COSTANZO: This frog has formed out a cardinal of altered agency to abstain that affectionate of damage.
DAVID POGUE: The frog’s basal organs burn up, absolution their baptize cautiously abroad from the frog’s organs. And article abroad happens.
JON COSTANZO: Most importantly, as anon as the frog begins freezing, the alarmist begins bearing compounds that acquiesce the beef and tissues to survive.
DAVID POGUE: A affectionate of antifreeze, or as Costanzo calls them.
JON COSTANZO: Cryoprotectants.
DAVID POGUE: Cryoâ¦
JON COSTANZO: â¦protectants, in huge quantities.
DAVID POGUE: Which assure the frog until the spring, aback article amazing happens.
JON COSTANZO: The ice begins to melt, and baptize allotment to its accepted location. So, the beef booty the baptize aback up. And, afterwards a time, the affection begins assault again. We don’t apperceive how this happens; it aloof spontaneously resumes beating.
DAVID POGUE: That’s crazy.
JON COSTANZO: That’s one of the aboriginal signs that the frog is absolutely not asleep at all. It’s alive. And afresh the frog begins to breathe. Eventually the frog will be able to move its limbs, sit upright, and, eventually, it can hop away.
DAVID POGUE: With these cryoprotectants, the frog has survived the algid of winter.
If we could bulk out a way to do this for people, we could save lives. Not by freezing our bodies, but by attention our organs for transplantation. That’s because organs, alike on ice, accept a bound shelf-life. Hearts, for example, last, at most, six hours.
Thousands of bodies die anniversary year cat-and-mouse for an organ.
So, could we not aloof inject these cryoprotectants into our bodies.
JON COSTANZO: Unfortunately, it doesn’t assignment that way. Some of the cryoprotectants that these frogs use are actual baneful to beastly beef tissue.
DAVID POGUE: So, how to arise up with a agnate actinic for beastly organs? That’s the botheration researcher Greg Fahy is aggravating to solve.
GREG FAHY: The ultimate ambition is to be able to set up complete banks of organs, so that they can be confused anywhere, accessible to be acquainted in aural a brace of hours’ notice.
DAVID POGUE: After years of work, he thinks he may accept arise up with a cryoprotectant that’s safe for mammals.
GREG FAHY: Unlike the chemicals that the frog uses, we accept optimized this accurate admixture for the mammal, over the aftermost 30 years or so.
DAVID POGUE: With this mixture, Fahy has auspiciously preserved aerial kidneys at beneath freezing temperatures.
He starts by removing as abundant baptize as possible.
GREG FAHY: So, the branch adeptness alpha off actuality 80 percent water. We’re activity to abate it to about 30 percent water.
DAVID POGUE: All right, so baptize out, antifreeze in.
GREG FAHY: Yes.
DAVID POGUE: The “antifreeze” is the key. It’s alleged M22, a aberrant actuality that’s not baneful to rabbits or humans.
BRIAN WOWK: And, as you can see, at allowance temperature, it’s acutely a liquid.
DAVID POGUE: I brainstorm M22 must, of course, assignment bigger than M20 and M21 did.
GREG FAHY: Well, M22 is alleged because it’s advised to be acclimated at minus-22 degrees Celsius, which is minus-eight degrees Fahrenheit.
DAVID POGUE: And aback they booty it bottomward beneath those temperatures, it behaves strangely.
BRIAN WOWK: Cooled to beneath minus-100 degrees Fahrenheit.
DAVID POGUE: Whoa.
BRIAN WOWK: â¦and it’s now like a adhesive syrup.
DAVID POGUE: Pump this into a kidney, and no bulk how algid the agency gets, it won’t freeze.
How does that work.
Unlike solid ice, breadth molecules are deeply organized, Fahy’s cryoprotectant charcoal liquid, no bulk how algid it gets.
GREG FAHY: At a assertive point, there’s bereft calefaction activity in the arrangement to advance diminutive motions, and the arrangement aloof locks up as a solid. But it’s not a arctic solid. It’s activity to a actual altered affectionate of solid state.
DAVID POGUE: So it’s a solid, but it’s not ice.
GREG FAHY: It’s alleged a burnished solid state, array of like a windowpane.
DAVID POGUE: So it’s not alleged “freezing” organs, you’reâ¦
GREG FAHY: Vitrifying those organs.
DAVID POGUE: Vitrifying.
It took them about four hours to accompany the branch into this state.
BRIAN WOWK: This is now solid. The kidney, and the band-aid surrounding it, is at a temperature of minus-190 Fahrenheit. It is a solid bottle through and through.
DAVID POGUE: Frozen abandoned in time.
GREG FAHY: It’s aloof like it was in the aqueous state. The abandoned aberration is that annihilation in the aqueous can move anymore. And, of course, if annihilation can move, annihilation can change. If annihilation can change, afresh you accept abiding preservation.
DAVID POGUE: Forever.
GREG FAHY: Well, practically.
DAVID POGUE: A hundred years?
GREG FAHY: Forever, as far as you’re concerned.
DAVID POGUE: Fahy and his aggregation accept auspiciously re-implanted one of these kidneys into a rabbit.
GREG FAHY: And we accept that we can put any agency into a vitrified accompaniment with abundant accomplishment and time.
DAVID POGUE: By authoritative organs colder, afterwards absolutely freezing them, he hopes to accomplish organ-banking a reality.
GREG FAHY: If we can do that, afresh that agency can delay as continued as it takes for the appropriate actuality to arise forth who needs it.
DAVID POGUE: From cooling soldiers and extenuative affection advance victims, to attention organs, the algid has amazing potential. And, as I abide my adventure bottomward the thermometer, affective from the apple central us to the apple about us, I’m headed to the aftermost abode you’d anticipate anyone would appetite to accomplish colder: Fairbanks, Alaska. I trekked there to acquisition out why.
Life actuality seems to circumduct about snow and ice, whether it’s aloof comedy or admirable works of accomplished art. It’s actual handsome.
And while snow blankets the arena from aboriginal abatement to backward spring, abundant of the apple beneath stays arctic year round. It’s alleged permafrost, but there’s a big problem: it’s not so perma. Aback you put a acrimonious architecture on it, or alike an city road, chunk melts.
It wasn’t consistently bouncing like this.
DOUG GOERING (University of Alaska Fairbanks): Oh, no. Aback this alley was aboriginal constructed, it was altogether level.
DAVID POGUE: Houses are biconcave into the ground.
DOUG GOERING: You can see that abounding of them are not decidedly level.
DAVID POGUE: And this doesn’t aloof arise overnight.
WOMAN: No, of advance not. It started about 40 years ago, maybe 30-something. No one anytime anticipation it would get like that.
DAVID POGUE: You must’ve noticed that things were angled a little bit. Your coffee cup would accelerate aloft the table.
WOMAN: Well, it wasn’t that extreme, ’cause anyone with accepted faculty would akin the table, no bulk what activity you’re in.
DAVID POGUE: Good point.
But what absolutely is chunk anyway.
DAN WHITE: Watch your head.
DAVID POGUE: Dan White, of the University of Alaska Fairbanks…
…took me underground to acquisition out.
Welcome to my lair, Mr. Bond.
This adit is the Army and University of Alaska’s chunk collective analysis facility.
DAN WHITE: Everything actuality is permafrost.
DAVID POGUE: When it comes to architecture houses and roads, there are two altered kinds of permafrost.
DAN WHITE: Gravelly materials.
DAVID POGUE: â¦the affectionate you can body on.
DAN WHITE: If you had a building, a road, on top of this, and you thaw that out, it would abide stable.
DAVID POGUE: The added affectionate of chunk is the problem.
DAN WHITE: Fine atom soil.
DAVID POGUE: â¦which gets its structural candor from arctic baptize that acts as cement.
DOUG GOERING: So continued as it’s in the arctic state, you can see that it’s structurally sound. You can body anchorage or bridges or houses on article like this.
DAVID POGUE: Mm hmm.
DOUG GOERING: The problem, though, is that already it warms up, it turns into this.
DAVID POGUE: A accurate assumption we alarm “melting..
DOUG GOERING: Exactly.
DAVID POGUE: And it’s abandoned activity to get worse as all-around temperatures rise. So how to stop it?
ED YARMAK: We use these thermosiphon devices.
DAVID POGUE: Thermosiphons. Ed Yarmak is arch architect with the aggregation that invented these things.
ED YARMAK: Well, it’s appealing simple; it’s aloof a tube.
DAVID POGUE: Here’s how it works: first, you put some aqueous in. Next, you blot out all the air to actualize a vacuum. Afresh you get article cold.
ED YARMAK: I’ve got a little Fairbanks snow.
DAVID POGUE: Remember how things consistently move from hot to cold? Well, because the snow is colder than the air in the roomâ¦
Whoa! It’s activity nuts!
â¦the algid draws the calefaction from the allowance into the tube, and.
It’s air-conditioned to the touch, it can’t be boiling.
Why is it accomplishing that.
ED YARMAK: Your baking point is dependent, not abandoned on temperature, but on the burden central your tube or in your system.
DAVID POGUE: Because it’s in a vacuum, it boils at allowance temperature, affective the calefaction from the allowance into the snow.
Okay, got it. But how in the apple is this activity to save the permafrost.
Well, aback you abode one of these in permafrost, the calefaction from the chunk moves into the thermosiphon.
One doesn’t anticipate of chunk as accepting heat.
ED YARMAK: Everything has heat, David. In the wintertime, the chunk is warmer than the air aloft it. And we all apperceive that calefaction goes from mild to cold.
DAVID POGUE: Okay, so the calefaction from the chunk moves into the thermosiphon. The aqueous central boils, axis into a gas, which rises up, accustomed the calefaction with it. Aback it gets to the surface, the calefaction moves out into the colder air.
So it stops thawing.
ED YARMAK: Exactly.
DAVID POGUE: And that works.
It’s true. In Fairbanks, you can see them about buildings, in roads, and forth the 800 afar of the Alaskan pipeline, you’ll acquisition 124,000 of them.
Okay, so appropriate now, the building’s calefaction would be thawing the permafrost, except that these accessories are sucking the calefaction out, right.
ED YARMAK: Exactly.
DAVID POGUE: â¦blasting it into the colder air? But I’ve begin a botheration with your system. In the summer, the air out actuality is not cold, so it would not be sucking calefaction out. I’ve got you.
ED YARMAK: Well, in the wintertime, we supercool it, so to speak.
DAVID POGUE: So that it will accept balance algid for the summer.
ED YARMAK: Exactly. All summer.
DAVID POGUE: Okay, able-bodied what affirmation do I accept that it’s absolutely working?.
ED YARMAK: You can use this thermal-imaging camera.
DAVID POGUE: Oh, wow. They’re glowing.
You bethink the thermal camera. It sees algid areas as darker and warmer areas as lighter.
So, we can see that there is calefaction advancing out of them there pipes, but there’s abandoned one way to apperceive for sure.
Ahh, ahh, ahh! I’m aloof kidding..
But Fairbanks is hot compared to breadth we’re going. We’re coast over 200 degrees colder than any abode on Earth, breadth physicists say a accomplished new apple begins: minus-320 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s the temperature of this aqueous nitrogen.
And so abundant fun! Aqueous nitrogen, folks, the ultimate in cold.
ERIC CORNELL: Actually, boilerplate a the ultimate in cold.
DAVID POGUE: Physicist Eric Cornell knows cold.
ERIC CORNELL: Liquid nitrogen isn’t alike close.
DAVID POGUE: He and his colleagues won a Nobel Prize for application it to ascertain a new accompaniment of matter. Cornell says we’re headed to a abode so algid that addition had to ad-lib a accomplished new thermometer aloof to get there.
ERIC CORNELL: Yes, Kelvin, an absolutely altered one, breadth aught absolutely agency something: the bottom, the actual everyman temperature you can get to. We alarm it “absolute zero.”
DAVID POGUE: But this, this has a aught on it.
ERIC CORNELL: Yeah.
DAVID POGUE: So, analysis this out. Analysis this out.
ERIC CORNELL: It went bottomward to zero. And look, I’ve got an amplifier that goes up to 11. It doesn’t beggarly anything.
DAVID POGUE: The “Kelvin,” in the Kelvin scale, is 19th aeon physicist Lord Kelvin, who wondered, if temperature is a admeasurement of diminutive motion, with beneath and beneath the further bottomward you go, why not accomplish aught the abode breadth all motion would stop?
He affected that would arise at minus-459-point-six-seven degrees Fahrenheit, which he fabricated aught on his scale.
ERIC CORNELL: A complete zero, an complete zero.
DAVID POGUE: So, in the Kelvin world, allowance temperature would beâ¦
ERIC CORNELL: About 300.
DAVID POGUE: And baptize freezes atâ¦
ERIC CORNELL: Two-hundred-seventy-three Kelvin.
DAVID POGUE: And this aqueous nitrogen.
ERIC CORNELL: Seventy-seven Kelvin. Truth of the bulk is, compared to breadth we’re going, 77 Kelvin is absolutely balmy. In fact, as you get things colder and colder, that’s absolutely aback they alpha to get the best interesting.
DAVID POGUE: Indeed.
To abide on, we’ll charge to afford our Fahrenheit scale, and alter it with Lord Kelvin’s. Afresh booty a accelerated plunge, from 77 degrees Kelvin bottomward to.
MELISSA GOOCH (University of Houston): Four Kelvin.
DAVID POGUE: â¦four Kelvin, breadth the camp acreage of superconductivity was aboriginal discovered.
MELISSA GOOCH: There are assertive abstracts that aback you get it absolutely cold, awe-inspiring things happen.
DAVID POGUE: Little did I apperceive that the actuality that would booty us there absolutely isn’t camp at all.
MELISSA GOOCH: Helium.
DAVID POGUE: It’s absolutely not that cold; that’s the funny thing.
MELISSA GOOCH: But if we about-face it into liquid, it’s four Kelvin, so, absolutely cold.
DAVID POGUE: Melissa Gooch, at the University of Houston, is about to appearance me how aback assertive materials.
This is a allotment of lead.
MELISSA GOOCH: This is lead.
DAVID POGUE: â¦get supercold, they alpha behaving in agency already anticipation impossible. To do this, she lowers the advance into this catchbasin of aqueous helium, to air-conditioned it to a temperature of seven degrees Kelvin.
It looks like the temperature is coast into ize core, Captain.
MELISSA GOOCH: If we accumulate cooling.
DAVID POGUE: That accustomed agglomeration of lead, in there, undergoes a transformation.
Is it, in fact, a superconductor.
MELISSA GOOCH: Yes.
DAVID POGUE: Wait. What is a superconductor? Or for that matter, what’s a approved conductor.
Conductors are abstracts that acquiesce electricity to breeze through, like copper. Best of the base in your abode is copper. But nut has a problem, aback electricity flows through it, electrons bang around, crumbling activity as heat. That’s alleged resistance. A superconductor has no resistance, zero. So the accepted flows through it afterwards crumbling any energy.
MELISSA GOOCH: This is nut wire that we accept in our house, normally.
DAVID POGUE: And these are accustomed ablaze bulbs. But Gooch is activity to run abundant beneath adeptness through them than normal.
MELISSA GOOCH: So we’re at 12 volts.
DAVID POGUE: That’s abandoned a tenth of the voltage we use in our homes.
MELISSA GOOCH: It’s not actual bright.
DAVID POGUE: That’s what we get from the nut wire. Watch what happens aback we run the aforementioned 12 volts through the superconductor.
From a addled glow, to abounding throttle. So you’re accepting a lot added out of your electricity.
MELISSA GOOCH: You’re accepting a lot added out of it.
DAVID POGUE: Oh. You’re crumbling a lot less.
MELISSA GOOCH: Yes.
DAVID POGUE: Scaled up, that ashen energy, aloof in the United States filigree alone, could adeptness 14 New York Cities every year. But that’s aloof the start. Scientists accept been alive on harnessing the backdrop of superconductivity for abundant added alien applications.
ALAIN SACUTO (Université Paris Diderot, Paris 7): Now, I put the superconductor.
DAVID POGUE: Here at the University of Paris, Assistant Alain Sacuto showed me article amazing that happens aback a absolutely algid superconductor meets an accustomed magnet.
ALAIN SACUTO: And there is levitation, you know.
DAVID POGUE: And this little bogie is aloof the tip of the iceberg.
Whoa, arise on.
ALAIN SACUTO: Let’s go.
DAVID POGUE: Back to the future! I’m absolutely surfing aloft the ground. I’m flying.
And it’s added than aloof fun and games. Engineers in Japan are already ascent it up to actualize the world’s aboriginal superconductor Maglev commuter train. It flies aloft its advance at speeds up to 311 afar per hour. And it’s algid that makes it happen. So what’s the trick.
You adeptness anticipate that the superconductor is acting aloof like a magnet, but you’d be wrong.
ALAIN SACUTO: It’s not like a magnet, because actuality you accept both abhorrence and attraction.
DAVID POGUE: So these two discs accept abhorrence and attraction?
ALAIN SACUTO: Both.
DAVID POGUE: And that’s not how a able allurement behaves. It can’t do both at the aforementioned time. The superconductor can, because it warps the alluring acreage of the allurement to a point breadth it attracts and repels at the aforementioned time.
But it’s both directions. It’s locked.
ALAIN SACUTO: Yes, both directions.
DAVID POGUE: But how is this possible? How do superconductors absolutely work.
Look at that.
The crazy allotment is scientists don’t absolutely know. It has article to do with that q-word and, okay, breadth we’re activity now: two degrees Kelvin. Physicists are unlocking a accomplished new apple of cold, breadth the laws of attributes arise to breach down.
ERIC CORNELL: Yes. Welcome to my world.
DAVID POGUE: What is this place?.
ERIC CORNELL: This is the “matter menagerie,” you know? Like in states of matter.
DAVID POGUE: I do apperceive states of matter: solids, liquids, gases.
ERIC CORNELL: Nah. Way more. You’ve arise to, like, a accomplished zoo of altered states of bulk that is alleged “strange matter.”
DAVID POGUE: Well named.
ERIC CORNELL: We anticipate that it abandoned exists in the centers of neutron stars. This one, I’m decidedly appreciative of. That is the “Bose-Einstein condensate,” and aback we apparent that stuff, I won a Nobel Prize.
DAVID POGUE: Nice. I like how you formed that in.
ERIC CORNELL: Yeah, well, you know.
DAVID POGUE: How abounding added states of bulk are there.
ERIC CORNELL: Truth is, some bodies say hundreds..
Look at that. It’s alleged a “superfluid.”
DAVID POGUE: Superfluid?
ERIC CORNELL: Yes. Accord that affair a swirl. What do you anticipate is activity to happen?
DAVID POGUE: When I activity it? It’s activity to go about and about in the bucket.
ERIC CORNELL: Give it a shot, a little faster.
DAVID POGUE: A superfluid is a accompaniment of bulk begin at temperatures beneath two Kelvin.
ERIC CORNELL: Now, go a little faster yet. Yeah.
DAVID POGUE: Weird!
And already these get started, they’ll agitate forever.
ERIC CORNELL: That is breakthrough mechanics in action.
DAVID POGUE: As I’m discovering, breakthrough mechanics is a affectionate of physics breadth the accepted rules don’t apply.
ERIC CORNELL: Anticipate of it this way: in the accustomed world, you, me, atoms, annihilation you want, they affectionate of act like balls, aloof like these balls, here. They bounce, they cycle around, they back-bite off anniversary other. But in the breakthrough automated world, anniversary of the atoms starts to act added and added like a wave. And eventually, the beachcomber of one atom starts to abound into the beachcomber of the other, and afore you apperceive it, you can’t acquaint one from the other. The atom could be over here, or it could be over there. And the air-conditioned affair is that it could, in some sense, be, really, both at the aforementioned time.
DAVID POGUE: Both at the aforementioned time?
ERIC CORNELL: Yeah.
DAVID POGUE: I mean, how can article be in two places at once?.
ERIC CORNELL: It’s not article we accept that able-bodied either, we aloof go with it.
DAVID POGUE: No kidding!
ERIC CORNELL: Quantum mechanics is like that, yeah.
DAVID POGUE: And so I, we, abandon for colder places, to see how this breakthrough aberancy can be acclimatized to breach real-world problems.
To do that we’ll charge to inch closer, a tenth of a degree, a hundredth of a bulk aloft complete zero.
GEORDIE ROSE: Welcome to one of the coldest places in the universe.
DAVID POGUE: What? In an appointment park, in a Vancouver suburb.
Meet physicist Geordie Rose, of D-Wave Systems, who claims they’ve acclimated the algid to body the world’s aboriginal bartering breakthrough computer.
Oh, my gosh! It’s C-3PO’s bells cake!
GEORDIE ROSE: This is a breakthrough computer.
DAVID POGUE: And what does that mean?
GEORDIE ROSE: You accept to amend the way that you anticipate about computers to blanket your arch about it.
DAVID POGUE: Remember that breakthrough aberancy beneath two Kelvin? Well, central this behemothic refrigerator, Rose’s aggregation keeps a few atoms a hundred times colder, all to accouter those awe-inspiring abilities to accomplish a new affectionate of computer.
So, let me get this straight. This complete company, this complete building, this complete meat locker, this complete million-dollar accoutrement is all advised aloof to accomplish that tiny dent cold.
GEORDIE ROSE: Yes.
DAVID POGUE: What does the algid accept to do with the computing.
GEORDIE ROSE: In breakthrough mechanics, the backdrop that we’re aggravating to accouter are actual calmly done out by the movement of the atoms in the processor.
As you go bottomward the plates through four Kelvin, point seven, point one. At anniversary stage, we appetite to aish the fluctuant of the atoms so they aloof calm down, booty a bench on the couch, relax. And aback they do that, these wonderful, powerful, bewitched backdrop that abide in breakthrough mechanics bloom out.
DAVID POGUE: Breakthrough backdrop like actuality in two places at once: that bewitched adeptness allows D-Wave to affairs their computer in a actual appropriate way.
GEORDIE ROSE: The axiological allotment of advice accumulator in this is a accessory alleged a qubit.
DAVID POGUE: Like the biblical measurement.
GEORDIE ROSE: Very clashing the biblical measurement.
DAVID POGUE: A qubit is the breakthrough adaptation of a bit, the basal assemblage of information. In a approved computer, a bit can be either a aught or a one. But a breakthrough bit can be either a aught or a one, or both aught and one at the aforementioned time. This gives it exponentially added adeptness than a accepted computer, which would use eight $.25 aloof to abundance a distinct cardinal amid aught and 256. In a breakthrough computer, eight qubits can abundance all 256 numbers at once.
GEORDIE ROSE: The complete article is aback you accept a lot of these $.25 together, the complete cardinal of possibilities doubles every time you add a bit.
DAVID POGUE: So, while ten qubits can abundance (210) = 1,024 numbers, 11 qubits can abundance (211) = 2,048 numbers. Aback you get to 100 qubits, you can abundance (2100) = 1 nonillion, 267 octillion, 650 septillion, 600 tillion, 228 quintillion, 229 quartrillion, 401 trillion, 496 billion, 703 million, 205 thousand and 376) number.
GEORDIE ROSE: So by the time you get to about 500 bits, you accept added possibilities than there are atoms in the arresting universe.
DAVID POGUE: Wow.
What this agency is that a breakthrough computer can accouterment problems on a calibration aloft any accepted computer: from acclimate anticipation and air cartage control, to forensics and finance. Problems on this calibration are everywhere and accept artlessly outstripped our abilities to breach them.
And admitting some accept questioned their claims, there are buyers. D-Wave’s aboriginal customer? Aerospace behemothic Lockheed Martin.
Their F-35 fighter alike is abundantly sophisticated.
MICHAEL: Yes. It’s got about 9,000,000 curve of code.
DAVID POGUE: Nine-million curve of code? Those nine-million curve of cipher can acreage a alike on a carrier, balk adversary alarm and hover like a helicopter. Trouble is, no accepted computer could anytime analysis that software for errors afterwards an army of engineers.
Is it aloof too abounding variables to all accede at the aforementioned time?
BRAD PIETRAS (Lockheed Martin): That’s absolutely right. If you accept a million, aback you can’t administer it with any computer on Earth.
DAVID POGUE: Which is why now NASA and Google partnered to get a breakthrough computer, too, in hopes of bigger award accouter planets and dispatch up the search.
Can I accept one.
GEORDIE ROSE: How abundant money you got.
DAVID POGUE: Not enough.
So, D-Wave’s dent is one of the coldest things in the universe: a hundredth of a bulk aloft complete zero.
Well, we’re not done yet.
I’m about to accommodated a scientist who can’t be agitated with hundredths or alike thousandths of a bulk for that matter, a.k.a. a millikelvin.
MARTIN ZWIERLEIN: We are apathetic by a millikelvin; we like to go to nanokelvin.
DAVID POGUE: Nanokelvin.
MARTIN ZWIERLEIN: Nanokelvin; that would be a billionth of a bulk aloft complete zero.
DAVID POGUE: A billionth of a degree.
MARTIN ZWIERLEIN: It’s actual cold! It’s a actor times colder than interstellar space.
DAVID POGUE: It’s aloof about the everyman temperature anytime reached: a abode so bright and cold, physicists can see the axiological laws of attributes in action.
M.I.T.’s Martin Zwierlein is activity to use sodium atoms to appearance me how to get there: the final borderland of cold.
Wow. And, so, how do you do that.
MARTIN ZWIERLEIN: So, we can alpha over there, at the oven.
DAVID POGUE: The oven.
Step 1: Cook up some sodium atoms, the aforementioned affectionate in your table salt, to about 700 degrees Fahrenheit. That way you can abstracted them.
MARTIN ZWIERLEIN: You appetite to get distinct atoms to comedy with, distinct sodium atoms, lots of them, a accomplished beck of them.
DAVID POGUE: Step 2: Hit them with lasers.
I apperceive you M.I.T. guys accept the acceptability of actuality actual smart, but I accept a little tip for you: lasers are hot. You adeptness be a little backwards there.
MARTIN ZWIERLEIN: Yeah. You adeptness anticipate about Brilliant Trek, breadth they annihilate bodies with lasers. Turns out here, we air-conditioned atoms bottomward with lasers. They get a backfire from it, aloof as if you hit a billiard brawl with addition billiard ball.
DAVID POGUE: In added words, aback you hit atoms with aloof the appropriate bulk of laser light, it acts like a little boost in the adverse administration that the atom is moving, slowing it down.
MARTIN ZWIERLEIN: If you attending bottomward here, you will absolutely see the algid cloud, appropriate there in the centermost of the exhaustion chamber.
DAVID POGUE: That aglow brilliant thing? It looks like the sun, it care to be super, cool hot.
MARTIN ZWIERLEIN: No. It’s absolutely acutely cold. Those are a billion atoms, cooled to a millikelvin.
DAVID POGUE: A thousandth of a bulk aloft complete zero. But lasers can abandoned get us so far.
MARTIN ZWIERLEIN: You cannot ability the nanokelvin temperatures aloof with laser cooling, so we charge addition technique.
DAVID POGUE: Which brings us to Step 3: Get out your coffee cup.
MARTIN ZWIERLEIN: What takes over afterwards laser cooling is what we alarm evaporative cooling. It’s the aforementioned affair that happens to your coffee appropriate now, because it’s aloof cooling down. So, if you now force it a little bit, by alarming on the coffee, huh? You acceleration that action up. The coffee gets algid added quickly, that’s absolutely what we do here.
DAVID POGUE: But instead of a coffee cup, Zwierlein uses a cup fabricated of alluring fields to allurement his atoms. Afresh he “blows” on it with radiation and lowers the rim of the cup to let the hotter atoms escape.
MARTIN ZWIERLEIN: So, now, we’re activity to do this coffee-cup cooling. It’s activity to accompany us to nanokelvin, okay?
Ready for this.
DAVID POGUE: Yes.
MARTIN ZWIERLEIN: Let’s do this.
So, can you amuse about-face on this stuff? Do this, this is great. Let’s about-face on this guy, and afresh this alarming knob, here.
DAVID POGUE: Press the alarming white on.
MARTIN ZWIERLEIN: Fantastic! So, that’s good. Amuse columnist F12.
DAVID POGUE: I’ve consistently wondered what F12 does.
MARTIN ZWIERLEIN: You see, now, that the atoms are cooling, because the billow admeasurement gets abate and abate and smaller. Actuality you see the temperature drop, drop, drop, drop, drop.
DAVID POGUE: Oh, wow.
It takes a few minutes, but eventually the atoms become so cold, they lose their alone identities altogether and adhere into that new accompaniment of bulk alleged a Bose-Einstein condensate.
MARTIN ZWIERLEIN: And that has formed appropriate now.
DAVID POGUE: Wait a minute, delay a minute. Okay.
MARTIN ZWIERLEIN: Yes.
DAVID POGUE: So, that’s the condensate.
MARTIN ZWIERLEIN: That’s the condensate.
DAVID POGUE: But attending at the temperature.
MARTIN ZWIERLEIN: Yeah, it’s actual cold.
DAVID POGUE: A hundred-and-seventy-seven-billionths of a degree? Billionths.
MARTIN ZWIERLEIN: Billionths, billionths of a degree.
DAVID POGUE: A hundred-and-seventy-seven-billionths of a bulk Kelvin.
MARTIN ZWIERLEIN: This is the coldest atom in the cosmos appropriate now, appropriate here.
DAVID POGUE: That’s amazing.
MARTIN ZWIERLEIN: Yep.
DAVID POGUE: So, not alike alien space.
MARTIN ZWIERLEIN: No, no, no. Alien amplitude is a actor times hotter.
DAVID POGUE: Not the aphotic ancillary of the moon.
MARTIN ZWIERLEIN: No, it’s, like, all hot.
DAVID POGUE: Comets.
MARTIN ZWIERLEIN: Terrible..
DAVID POGUE: Black holes? Nothing.
MARTIN ZWIERLEIN: Nothing.
DAVID POGUE: This is it, in this room. That’s amazing. I would ask it for its autograph if I could.
But it’s not about ambience abstruse records. What Zwierlein is aflame about is what these alien states of bulk can advise us about the universe.
MARTIN ZWIERLEIN: Our breath of gas teaches us about the neutron stars, or the breach additional afterwards the Big Bang, there was this awe-inspiring anatomy of bulk alleged the quark-gluon plasma.
DAVID POGUE: A superhot blazon of bulk in the aboriginal cosmos that would accord acceleration to aggregate we see today.
So, you’re cogent me that this tiny, freezing algid dot can advise us article about enormous, blazing-hot stuff?.
MARTIN ZWIERLEIN: That’s the fun allotment of physics. It connects these actual altered areas. The actual hot, actual cold, aggregate is complete by the aforementioned laws..
DAVID POGUE: Amazingly, what happens at these ultracold temperatures is that atoms get so anointed out, their after-effects alpha attractive duplicate from those of superhot particles beneath acute pressure, like those central the close bulk of neutron stars, so dense, a teaspoon of them weighs 10-billion tons.
Zwierlein and others can now simulate substances like this in their labs and delving their mysteries.
That’s incredible. And in a brace added years, you’ll assuredly do it. You’ll hit 0.0, complete zero, and we’ll be done.
MARTIN ZWIERLEIN: Yeah, unfortunately, it’s never accessible to ability complete zero.
DAVID POGUE: What.
MARTIN ZWIERLEIN: There’s consistently activity to be a little, little bead of activity sitting about somewhere.
DAVID POGUE: Turns out, it’s absurd to get to complete zero, because no bulk how algid you get, aggregate has tiny breakthrough jitters. And breadth you accept motion, alike a tiny amount, you accept heat.
But that’s not endlessly scientists from accepting alike colder to analyze the axiological laws of attributes and how our cosmos came to be.
ERIC CORNELL: Just the way babble can asphyxiate out music, calefaction is array of the babble that obscures things. If you get things really, absolutely algid you array of asphyxiate out, you clammy bottomward all the babble and you can accept to what attributes is whispering to you..
DAVID POGUE: It’s alien territory. Like added frontiers of science, algid has opened the doors to new worlds. Breadth the asleep may get a additional chance, the planet can be cooled by able addition and the cosmos may be fabricated added understandable. The secrets are all about us, as we apprentice to accomplish actuality colder.
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