On the whole, the laws of physics don't like to be fooled with. Nature has pretty strict rules, not just about how fast objects can move but also about how cold they can get. Scientists know temperatures can drop only so far before absolute zero--the bitter rock bottom of physics' thermometer--stops them from cooling any further. On the way down toward the absolute-zero mark, however, remarkable things can happen.
When objects grow cooler, what is actually, if invisibly, happening is that their atoms are moving slower. At a certain point--about -460[degrees]F--the motion of all matter would stop. Such utter atomic stillness...
To continue reading:
Want the full story?
Get TIME the way you want it
Week Digital Pass — $4.99
Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS — $2.99
Year ALL ACCESS — Just $30! Best Deal!
Print Magazine + Digital Edition +
Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com
Learn more about the benefits of being
a TIME subscriber
If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!