Insights: Cold

Here in Central Indiana, we’re enjoying cold conditions like much of the rest of the country.  The high today is supposed to be a wimpy -11 degrees Fahrenheit.  Wimpy, only because that is not nearly as cold as several other states, just cold for Indiana.

Remember that God is still in control. Job records for us, “By the breath of God ice is given, and the broad waters are frozen.” (Job 37:10) Refreshing breath is one thing, but breath that freezes the lakes is another! And, “From whose womb comes the ice? And the frost of heaven, who gives it birth?” (Job 38:29) It all is under God’s sovereign control, which He works through His ministering angels, “After these things I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, on the sea, or on any tree.” (Rev 7:1) God dispatches His desires through the angels who do His will.

God is in control. Remember, temperature is relative, until you hit Absolute Zero.  What’s Absolute Zero?  I’m glad you asked.

The scientific definition of Absolute Zero is -273.15 degrees Celsius.  That’s Celsius, not Fahrenheit!  Absolute Zero is the point at which the fundamental particles of nature have minimal vibrational motion, retaining only quantum mechanical, zero-point energy-induced particle motion.1 That means stuff stops moving! It’s almost like some traffic jams, or people waiting in line for food just before a big storm, or trying to get a person who can’t stand squash to eat it at the table. Seriously, it’s worse than all that. By international agreement, Absolute Zero is defined as precisely: 0 K on the Kelvin scale, which is a thermodynamic (absolute) temperature scale; and –273.15 degrees Celsius on the Celsius scale.2

How about some more great facts you can impress someone else today! Absolute zero is also precisely equivalent to: 0 degrees R on the Rankine scale (also a thermodynamic temperature scale), and –459.67 degrees F on the Fahrenheit scale. While scientists cannot fully achieve a state of “zero” heat energy in a substance, they have made great advancements in achieving temperatures ever closer to Absolute Zero (where matter exhibits odd quantum effects).3 Did you understand that? I learned it in physics in college, but…it’s been a few years!

While you’re are looking outside and wondering what it is like today, make sure you really have to go out. Growing up in St. Paul, Minnesota, I had the joy of many winters when it didn’t get above zero degrees (Fahrenheit) for almost two weeks. I remember when it did get above zero, up to the real wimpy temps, it felt pretty warm and I thought, “Let’s get back down to some real temperatures! Today, I’m more practical.  I hope you’ll be practical and be on alert to frostbite and worse conditions.  Praise His name, He’s in control!

1http://www.sciencedaily.com/articles/a/absolute_zero.htm

2Ibid.

3Ibid.

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