Scientists set new record creating the known universe’s coldest object

22 Oct 2014

The CUORE cryostate. Image via INFN

An international team of scientists have managed to create the coldest known object in the known universe by bringing a copper vessel to 6m°K (Kelvin) in a sealed vault.

Known as The CUORE collaboration and based at the INFN Gran Sasso National Laboratory in Italy, this was reportedly the first time such a mass – a cubic metre of copper, in this case – had been super-cooled to this temperature.

Standing for Cryogenic Underground Observatory for Rare Events, CUORE also coincidentally means ‘heart’ in Italian.

CUORE’s cryostat, the chamber which stored the copper vessel, is said to be the only one of its kind in the world.

According to their news release on the achievement, the CUORE team members were looking to observe an incredibly rare scientific occurrence known as neutrinoless double-beta decay that had only previously been hypothesised, and which could potentially answer questions about the origin of matter in the universe.

To put the temperature achievement into perspective, 6m°K in Celsius is equivalent to -273.15°C, colder than ‘absolute zero’.

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Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic