Hottest temperature ever measured is a negative one

Ultracold gas sets record on the kelvin scale

By Andrew Grant, 17:44 PM January 4, 2013

Coaxing a gas to a negative temperature on the kelvin scale has produced, paradoxically, the hottest temperature ever measured. The study, published in the Jan. 4 Science, will help physicists learn about quantum phenomena and perhaps even the strange form of energy that dominates the universe.

A negative kelvin temperature indicates that particles at high energies outnumber those at low energies.

“We are used to positive temperatures,” says Achim Rosch, a physicist at the University of Co...

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