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NOVA; Absolute Zero


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Absolute Zero
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Series Description

Premiered March 1974 NOVA is a general-interest documentary series that addresses a single science issue each week. Billed as "science adventures for curious grown-ups" when it first aired in March, 1974, NOVA continues to offer an informative and entertaining approach to a challenging subject. 1996 marked NOVA's 23rd season, which makes it the longest-running science program on national television. It is also one of television's most acclaimed series, having won every major television award, most of them many times over. Series release date: 3/3/1974

Program Description

Broadcast January 8th and 15th, 2008 Series Description:

"Absolute Zero" presents the epic story of humanity's struggle to master extreme cold. This mini-series re-creates groundbreaking discoveries across four centuries that expanded our knowledge of low temperatures and led ultimately to today's cutting edge "cold technologies." Its memorable characters range from a 17th-century court magician who rigged a primitive form of air conditioning in Westminster Abbey to the original Captain Birdseye, who invented frozen food. For the first time on television, these programs tell the story of the decades-long scientific race between two leading chemists to liquefy helium and nitrogen, which opened the door to the modern era of refrigeration and modern air conditioning, as well as a recent Nobel-winning breakthrough, the production of a new form of matter that Albert Einstein predicted would exist within a few billionths of a degree above absolute zero.

The program is based on the definitive book on cold: Absolute Zero and the Conquest of Cold by Tom Shachtman.



Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Chicago: “NOVA; Absolute Zero,” 09/22/2008, WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed October 28, 2016, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_A8FF1E6AC1AF4209920227AED418ADF7.
MLA: “NOVA; Absolute Zero.” 09/22/2008. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. October 28, 2016. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_A8FF1E6AC1AF4209920227AED418ADF7>.
APA: NOVA; Absolute Zero. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_A8FF1E6AC1AF4209920227AED418ADF7
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