# Magnets n absolute zero

Gold Member
OK i was just wondering what would happen if you had a bunch of Iron filings at absolute zero and put a magnet near to them. Would they move or would nothing happen?

## Answers and Replies

LURCH
Science Advisor
Just a first gues off the top o fmy head, but I think the presence of a magnetic field intruding on the filings would constitute an input of energy, raising the temperature so that they atre no longer at 0oK. But if you could get the filings to 0oK and keep them there while in the presence of a magnet, they should remain unneffected. For any change to take place requires energy, and there is no energy at absolute zero.

Interesting.
I wonder if this experiment has been done while using liguid nitrogen, for example, and comparing the results at normal temperatures.

Gold Member
Lol i was in a Physicsy mood yesterday and thought about it. Im not sure myself, how would a magnetic field constitute as providing energy to something?

chroot
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
It's a nonsense question. You can't reach absolute zero.

- Warren

Gold Member
where is your sense of fun???? im talking hypothetically!!

chroot
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
The question cannot be answered by existing theory -- it is a singularity. Anything could happen. You could suddenly find yourself upside down, wearing your grandma's underwear. There's no way one can even speculate what will happen in a physically impossible situation.

- Warren

Gold Member
ok so no-one knows the answer....i have found my life mission.

LURCH
Science Advisor
Originally posted by chroot
...You could suddenly find yourself upside down, wearing your grandma's underwear... - Warren

You have that dream too huh? disturbing, ain't it?!

I think the only "hypothetical" thing we can say about absolute zero is that nothing moves. The magnetic field coming into proximity of the filing would constitute a change in their environment, therefore an input of energy.

chroot, take it easy. Man, i think if this forum was real life you'd be a serial killer. i mean, sure, it is impossible...but dont get so upset.

Lets simplify and just ask how the attraction of a magnet to cold iron compares to the attraction of a magnet to warmer iron.

Besides - what's the big deal with the 'entire unpredictability of an impossible situation'? If absolute zero is similarly impossible, couldn't you similarly say that crazy things could happen such as "wearing your grandmothers underwear'?

Gold Member
ok, seeing as this thread is getting no where, if you had iron filings at NEAR absolute zero and placed a magnet next to them, would the resultant movement happen at a slower velocity than if the same experiment was repeated at room temperature?

Originally posted by jimmy p
ok, seeing as this thread is getting no where, if you had iron filings at NEAR absolute zero and placed a magnet next to them, would the resultant movement happen at a slower velocity than if the same experiment was repeated at room temperature?

Indeed, one would think so. After all, magnetic interaction on a target material is dependent, in large part, on the movement ability of the electrons within that target materials' atomic structure. So, without specific examples, I believe you are correct in concept.
I could see how a super-cooled ferrous material would have definite and different properties of potential magnetic attraction or reactivity to an outside magnetic field. Conceptually, it should be less.
Curious if any actual experiments have been done to establish effect parameters.

Just curious, how is magnetic attraction measured?

you WOULD be doing this in a vacuum, um, right? I hope so, because if you reaced a steady and constant tempature of absolute zero, wouldn't the air around it freeze and keep freezing all the air everywhere on the surface on the earth? Do all chemical changes/reactions stop at absolute zero?

Gold Member
Oh yeah, of course it would be in a vacuum, dont want any pesky air ruining my plans. I would think that all chemical reactions would stop at absolute zero.