• Question: how cold is liquid nitrogen

    Asked by moiraisout737 to Ed, Kerrianne, Oli, yoyehudi on 17 Nov 2017.
    • Photo: Oli Wilson

      Oli Wilson answered on 17 Nov 2017:

      Like, quite chilly. It changes from a gas to a liquid at -196*C, and then from a liquid to a solid at -210*C. Bearing in mind the coldest temperature that can possibly ever exist (absolute zero, the temperature at which literally everything stops moving) is -273.15*C, that’s pretty cold!
      Although, having said that, I just noticed on Google that some scientists have managed to create a gas with a temperature *below* absolute zero – but which also is somehow incredibly hot, perhaps among ‘the hottest systems in the world’. I just don’t understand physics sometimes.

    • Photo: Ed Bracey

      Ed Bracey answered on 17 Nov 2017:

      It’s -196 degrees celsius!
      Body temperature is about +37 degrees and water freezes at 0 degrees.
      So pretty chilly.
      The coldest it gets in our lab is the freezers we use to store viruses at -80 degrees.