NOVA: Absolute Zero

Overview

The documentary special NOVA: Absolute Zero incorporates two separate NOVA episodes on the subject of cold temperature. Both parts (as originally screened on PBS back-to-back) explore and chart humankind's quest to understand and achieve manufactured cold over the trajectory of time. Part one, "The Conquest of Cold," roughly spans the period of 1600 through the late 19th century. It begins in an era when mankind neither understood nor appreciated the intrinsic nature of hot and cold; many argued that both were ...
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Overview

The documentary special NOVA: Absolute Zero incorporates two separate NOVA episodes on the subject of cold temperature. Both parts (as originally screened on PBS back-to-back) explore and chart humankind's quest to understand and achieve manufactured cold over the trajectory of time. Part one, "The Conquest of Cold," roughly spans the period of 1600 through the late 19th century. It begins in an era when mankind neither understood nor appreciated the intrinsic nature of hot and cold; many argued that both were aspects of the same basic phenomenon, but found this notion difficult to prove - until such groundbreakers as Antoine Lavoisier, Cornelius Drebbel and Michael Faraday codified related scientific ideas for future generations and thus spurred the Industrial Revolution on to new and lofty heights. Episode two, "The Race for Absolute Zero," recounts scientists' relentless competition with one another (including that between Heike Onnes and James Dewar) to push cold temperatures to unseen lows, and their success in finally reaching the subthermal level at which nitrogen and oxygen liquefy (-253° Celsius, or 20 degrees above absolute zero). The program then wraps by moving ahead to the end of the 20th century and examining Daniel Kleppner's success in achieving the formation of the Bose-Einstein condensate, a rare form of matter that appears as temperatures reach absolute zero.
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Special Features

Printable materials for educators; Access to the NOVA Web site; Scene selection; Closed captions; Described video for the Hearing Impaired
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/3/2008
  • UPC: 783421424494
  • Original Release: 2007
  • Rating:

  • Source: Wgbh / Pbs
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:49:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 65,049

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Neil Ross Voice Only
Technical Credits
David Dugan Director, Producer
Justin Badger Editor
Meredith Burch Co-producer, Executive Producer
Mike Coles Camera Operator
Boyd Estus Camera Operator
Bob Hanna Camera Operator
Barry Hecht Camera Operator
John Howarth Camera Operator
Bob Perrin Camera Operator
Mike Robinson Camera Operator
Tom Shachtman Screenwriter
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- NOVA: Absolute Zero
1. Introduction [2:49]
2. A Malevolent Force [8:58]
3. Quantifying Cold [10:16]
4. The Ice Trade [10:09]
5. Cold Engines [10:40]
6. The Cold Resource [11:29]
1. Introduction [2:49]
2. The Holy Grail [8:58]
3. A Temperate Cascade [10:16]
4. Superconductivity [10:09]
5. A New State Of Matter [10:40]
6. Applications [11:29]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- NOVA: Absolute Zero
   Play The Conquest of Cold
   Play The Race for Absolute Zero
   Scene Selection
      The Conquest of Cold
      The Race for Absolute Zero
   DVD-ROM Features
   Accessibility Options
      Play The Conquest of Cold with video descriptions: On
      Play The Conquest of Cold with video descriptions: Off
      Play The Race for Absolute Zero with video descriptions: On
      Play The Race for Absolute Zero with video descriptions: Off
   Other Products of Interest
      Einstein's Big Idea
      Newton's Dark Secrets
      Galileo's Battle for the Heavens
      The Elegant Universe
      Evolution
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