Absolute Zero and the Conquest of Cold
Community Education Guide | Science Educators Guide
Absolute Zero and the Conquest of Cold, a public broadcasting special and outreach campaign that premiered in January 2008, demonstrates how civilization has been profoundly affected by the mastery of cold. SPS is a national Partner of the project, a involved in outreach, strategic guidance, support and in-kind institutional resources.
This two-part public television special is a unique blend of science, cultural history and adventure story. The programs explores key concepts, significant individuals and events in the field of low-temperature physics and the enormous impact that the mastery of cold has had on society through such technologies as air conditioning, refrigeration and liquefied gases.
Absolute Zero features the struggles of philosophers, scientists and engineers over four centuries as they attempted to understand the nature of cold, to explore its deepest reaches, to create the ‘cold technologies’ that have transformed society and to seek a deeper understanding of matter itself. Underwritten by the National Science Foundation and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the documentaries were produced by British Emmy Award winner David Dugan in collaboration with Meredith Burch of Meridian Productions, Inc. in Washington, D.C. The films are based largely on Tom Shachtman’s acclaimed book by the same name.
To support Absolute Zero, a national public outreach campaign was designed to underscore how life in the 21st century is powerfully shaped by the mastery of cold. The objective: to engage the American audience in a story that touches their lives in innumerable ways while generating the greatest possible viewership for the programs.
The National Partnership Program - Roles and Responsibilities
A key element of the national campaign is the National Partnership Program that draws upon the leadership of national scientific, educational, governmental, and professional organizations that have a specific interest and expertise in the subject matter. The Society of Physics Students is pleased to be one of the National Partners for the program.
National Partners serve as essential building blocks for the outreach campaign. They provide strategic guidance, support and in-kind institutional resources. Each National Partner was invited to nominate an individual to participate in a National Awareness Advisory Committee that provided advice during the life of the outreach campaign.
For any questions, please contact SPS Director Gary White via email at email@example.com.
The 2006 SOCK
The theme for the 2006-07 Science Outreach Catalyst Kit (SOCK) iss Temperature, and it was conceived in conjunction with the public broadcasting series and campaign Absolute Zero and the Conquest of Cold based on Tom Shachtman's book of the same title. A liquid nitrogen ice cream recipe, always the show-stopper, is among the numerous engaging activities and demonstrations in the SOCK.
By using this SOCK, SPS Chapters have a unique opportunity to contribute to their community’s understanding that temperature is a vital component to universal structure and balance. The impact of temperature on our society will always be an area of study that invokes great interest and investigative research.