Cryogenics: Not-So-Common Cold

"Consider a world so cold," says Union Carbide Engineer Roger Thompson, "that the very air you breathe turns to liquid or freezes as solid as a block of ice, where steel is as brittle as glass, a rubber ball shatters when it hits the floor, and lead is an almost perfect conductor of electricity." The odd goings-on described by Engineer Thompson all occur in the far-out world of cryogenics—the science of ultra-low temperatures.

Although it has risen from the status of a laboratory novelty only within the past decade, cryogenics now occupies the attention...

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