end of thermodynamic law worship
human understanding of reality moves moves forward -
Atoms at negative absolute temperature: The hottest systems in the world
Thank you for sharing a cool article (pardon the pun). Interesting, but not amazing. You push the rocks(atoms) to the top of the hill and force them to stay there with a defined energy field (lasers) to create in interesting and unlikely pattern of energy distribution that is intriguing. But then to claim it is amazing because it creates odd semantics with our language and definition of temperature. Very neat, yes. Experimentally valuable, yes. But earth shattering? No.
A negative on the Kelvin scale would by definition require imparting maximal and equal energy to the measured group of particles. In this case they used a containing energy field to limit what would be "maximal" so it isn't infinite and the feat could be accomplished. Cool trick. But positive and negative on the Kelvin scale are not in any way comparable to positive and negative in t he Celsius or Fahrenheit scales that we are familiar with, so the semantics are just funny.
Nothing new here, apart from someone actually producing something which has been known to be possible for many decades. People are now very clever at using laser beams to act a bit like Maxwell demons, and sort stuff and move stuff around.
No new understanding here. Just that the experimenters have caught up with the theorists. They always do eventually.
Now if this sort of thing regularly happened spontaneously, with no energy and intelligence input from an experimenter, that would be news as it would violate thermodynamics. An isolated spontaneous occurence would be intriguing, but could just be a statistical fluke.
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