Saturday, January 17, 2009

Absolute Zero

I have been fascinated with this subject ever since I wanted to learn how liquid nitrogen was made. Absolute zero is a temperature around -273 C. It is the point when temperature meets pressure. Heat can go up and up but absolute zero is believed to be the coldest point that can be reached. When temperatures almost reach absolute zero, atoms behave in a very weird way. A new matter that is not a solid, liquid or gas is created at this temperature. Atoms no longer have a individual quality to them. They actually mix together and become one wave like structure. I have been trying to think how absolute zero could be used in foods. Imagine isolating atoms of flavor and being able to mix them together, a kind of molecular mixing bowl. Actually building a flavor on a molecular level. I theorize that this is how food could be replicated. If you had a machine that had 100's of different flavored atoms and a process of mixing and emulsifying, you can replicate anything. Absolute zero is not something that I could do in my kitchen today. Only about 10 years ago at a lab 20 minutes away from me in Boulder was absolute zero almost achieved. They had to use lasers and magnetic fields to cool heavier periodic elements to come within a billionth of a degree. It took centuries of scientist and chemist theorizing and experimenting to get where we are today. We take for granted many useful products that were invented because of mans quest for absolute zero. Items like walk-ins , flash freezing, and air conditioning. Without these inovators pushing their boundaries, we would not enjoy the common conveniences of today.

No comments: