Cooling to absolute zero mathematically outlawed after a century
IT’S an absolute. Mathematics has put speed limits on cooling, finally proving a century-old law – that unless you have infinite time and resources, you can’t get to the absolute zero of temperature. In 1906, German chemist Walther Nernst formulated the heat theorem, which states that as a perfect crystal approaches the absolute zero point of 0 kelvin (-273.15°C), the system’s entropy also goes to zero. This work earned him the 1920 Nobel prize in chemistry.