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Negative temperatures?

Absolute zero is often thought to be the coldest temperature possible. But now researchers show they can achieve even lower temperatures for a strange realm of “negative temperatures.”

Oddly, another way to look at these negative temperatures is to consider them hotter than infinity, researchers added. (“Atoms Reach Record Temperature, Colder than Absolute Zero“, Charles Choi, LiveScience and

It seems to me that this is very strong evidence for the Simulation Argument, since apparently the simulation has some integer underflow problems. The researchers have proof of concept code.

The original, paywalled article is in Science, “Negative Absolute Temperature for Motional Degrees of Freedom“.

One comment on "Negative temperatures?"

  • caf says:

    It’s actually just a notational quirk, because we chose the wrong definition for temperature – we should have used -1/T. With this scale, the hottest temperatures would be towards positive infinity, the coldest towards negative infinity, and no discontinuity.

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