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Contact: Ulrich Schneider

Temperature Boltzmann Distribution

Caption: Hot minus temperatures: At a negative absolute temperature the energy distribution of particles inverts in comparison to a positive temperature. Many particles then have a high energy and few a low one. This corresponds to a temperature which is hotter than one that is infinitely high, where the particles are distributed equally over all energies. A negative Kelvin temperature can only be achieved experimentally if the energy has an upper limit, just as non-moving particles form a lower limit for the kinetic energy at positive temperatures -- physicists at the LMU and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics have now achieved this.

Credit: LMU and MPG Munich

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Related news release: A temperature below absolute zero

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