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For the infectious disease, see Common cold. For the post-grunge band, see Cold (band). For other uses, see Cold (disambiguation).
An iceberg, which is relatively cold.

Cold refers to the condition or subjective perception of having low temperature, the absence of heat.[note 1]

A lower bound to temperature is absolute zero, defined as 0 K on the Kelvin scale, an absolute thermodynamic temperature scale. This corresponds to −273.15 °C on the Celsius scale, −459.67 °F on the Fahrenheit scale, and 0 °R on the Rankine scale.

Since temperature relates to the thermal energy held by an object or a sample of matter, which is the kinetic energy of the random motion of the particle constituents of matter, an object will have less thermal energy when it is colder and more when it is hotter. If it were possible to cool a system to absolute zero, all motion of the particles in a sample of matter would cease and they would be at complete rest in this classical sense. The object would be described as having zero thermal energy. Microscopically in the description of quantum mechanics, however, matter still has zero-point energy even at absolute zero, because of the uncertainty principle.


Main article: Refrigeration
Out In The Cold, Léon Bazille Perrault
Signal "cold" - unofficial (except recommended by CMAS), however used by many schools of diving and propagated through the portals on the diving as one of the useful additional signals[1][2].[3]
Goose bumps, a common physiological response to cold, aiming to reduce the loss of body heat in a cold environment.

Cooling refers to the process of becoming cold, or lowering in temperature. This could be accomplished by removing heat from a system, or exposing the system to an environment with a lower temperature.

Fluids used to cool objects are commonly called coolants.

Air cooling is the process of cooling an object by exposing it to air. This will only work if the air is at a lower temperature than the object, and the process can be enhanced by increasing the surface area or decreasing the mass of the object.

Another common method of cooling is exposing an object to ice, dry ice, or liquid nitrogen. This works by convection; the heat is transferred from the relatively warm object to the relatively cold coolant.

Laser cooling and Magnetic evaporative cooling are techniques used to reach very low temperatures.

Physiological effects[edit]

Cold has numerous physiological and pathological effects on the human body, as well as on other organisms. Cold environments may promote certain psychological traits, as well as having direct effects on the ability to move. Coordination is one of the first abilities to be affected.[citation needed] Extreme cold temperatures may lead to frostbite as well as hypothermia, which in turn may result in death.

Notable cold locations and objects[edit]

See also[edit]

A photograph of the snow surface at Dome C Station, Antarctica a part of the notoriously cold polar plateau, it is representative of the majority of the continent's surface.


  1. ^ A cold body is often described as having less heat, although this use of "heat" would be incorrect in the context of physics, as heat refers to the transfer of energy between bodies, which do not "have" heat themselves.


  1. ^ Portal "Argonaut": Sygnały ręczne
  2. ^ Scuba Diving – Hand Signals – strona w języku angielskim
  3. ^ Diving Hand Signals (Additional signals) – strona w języku angielskim
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Boomerang Nebula boasts the coolest spot in the Universe". NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. June 20, 1997. Retrieved July 8, 2009. 
  6. ^ Staff (July 7, 2009). "Coldest Known Object in Space Is Very Unnatural". Retrieved July 3, 2013. 
  7. ^ Hinshaw, Gary (December 15, 2005). "Tests of the Big Bang: The CMB". NASA WMAP. Retrieved 2007-01-09. 
  8. ^ Uranus Fact Sheet
  9. ^ Saturn Fact Sheet
  10. ^[dead link]
  11. ^ Jupiter Fact Sheet
  12. ^ Mars Fact Sheet
  13. ^ Melting Ice in Antarctica : Image of the Day
  14. ^ Bignell, Paul (2007-01-21). "Polar explorers reach coldest place on Earth". The Independent (London). Retrieved 2010-04-30. 
  15. ^ Budretsky, A.B. (1984). "New absolute minimum of air temperature". Bulletin of the Soviet Antarctic Expedition (in Russian) (Leningrad: Gidrometeoizdat) (105).