Cryogenics and the future

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Cryogenics and the Future

Cryogenics is a study that is of great importance to the human race and has been a major project for engineers for the last 100 years. Cryogenics, which is derived from the Greek word kryos meaning 'Icy Cold,' is the study of matter at low temperatures. However low is not even the right word for the temperatures involved in cryogenics, seeing as the highest temperature dealt with in cryogenics is 100 (C (-148 (F) and the lowest temperature used, is the unattainable temperature -273.15 (C (-459.67 (F). Also, when speaking of cryogenics, the terms Celsius and Fahrenheit are rarely used. Instead scientists use a different measurement called the Kelvin (K). The Kelvin scale for Cryogenics goes from 173 K to a fraction of a Kelvin above absolute zero. There are also two main sciences used in cryogenics, and they are Superconductivity and Superfluidity.

Cryogenics first came about in 1877, when a Swiss Physicist named Rasul Pictet and a French Engineer named Louis P.

Cailletet liquefied oxygen for the first time. Cailletet created liquid oxygen in his lab using a process known as adiabatic expansion, which is a 'thermodynamic process in which the temperature of a gas is expanded without adding or extracting heat from the gas or the surrounding system'(Vance 26). At the same time Pictet used the 'Joule-Thompson Effect,' a thermodynamic process that states that the 'temperature of a fluid is reduced in a process involving expansion below a certain temperature and pressure'(McClintock 4). After Cailletet and Pictet, a third method, known as cascading, was developed by Karol S. Olszewski and Zygmut von Wroblewski in Poland. At this point in history Oxygen was now able to be liquefied at 90 K, then soon after liquid Nitrogen was obtained at 77 K, and because...