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Which materials would survive at near absolute zero, intact?

  1. Feb 2, 2013 #1
    What would happen to things on Earth if transported to the moon? For instance, say that a house, with furniture and fixtures in place, were dropped gently onto the moon's surface? How about food - meat, vegetables, fruit? Would things crack? Or would they survive the experience so that if rewarmed to Earth temperatures they could be used again?
     
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  3. Feb 2, 2013 #2

    Matterwave

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    I want to point out that the moon is not anywhere near absolute zero temperature. It's ~100 degrees C (or higher) during the day, and ~-150 degrees C at night, which is still ~120K (warmer than liquid nitrogen's boiling point at atmospheric pressures).

    I can't comment much on which type of objects survive best though. I think all the water in the food would freeze and perhaps destroy most of the cells, but I'm not sure if that's akin to freezing food in your freezer or not.

    I'd imagine that the metalic objects would survive (see: Apollo missions), but I don't know how they treated the metals and stuff for the moon landing.
     
  4. Feb 2, 2013 #3

    Drakkith

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    And "dropped gently on the moon's surface" is very non-specific. Were they dropped from 1 foot, 10 feet, a mile? Different objects will break at different levels of stress, so unless you give specific numbers no one can say much. And even then I don't know if there's a list somewhere that tells us how much stress an apple at 3 kelvin can take.
     
  5. Feb 2, 2013 #4

    mfb

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    I think we can expect a negligible impact velocity here, as it is a question about temperature effects.

    If you let the house stay a while on the moon, temperature changes (with a ~28-day-cycle) could weaken the materials. Food would probably lose a part of its water due to boiling, before it freezes (at night) or loses its water completely after a while (with sunshine).
    The vacuum could have some side-effects, depending on the way you reduce air pressure around the house.
     
  6. Feb 2, 2013 #5

    Drakkith

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    I interpreted this to be just about extremely low temperatures, not about temperature flux. Just goes to show you the need to be as specific as possible.
     
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