Timeline of low-temperature technology

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The following is a timeline of low-temperature technology and cryogenic technology (refrigeration down to –150 °C, –238 °F or 123 K and cryogenics).[1]

18th century BCE – 18th century[edit]

  • c. 1700 BCE – Zimri-Lim, ruler of Mari in Syria commanded the construction of one of the first ice houses near the Euphrates.[2]
  • c. 500 BCE – The yakhchal (meaning "ice pit" in Persian;) is an ancient Persian type of refrigerator. The structure was formed from a mortar resistant to heat transmission, in the shape of a dome. Snow and ice was stored beneath the ground, effectively allowing access to ice even in hot months and allowing for prolonged food preservation. Often a badgir was coupled with the yakhchal in order to slow the heat loss. Modern refrigerators are still called yakhchal in Persian.
  • 1396 CE - Ice storage warehouses called "Dong-bing-go-tango (meaning "east ice storage warehouse" in Korean) and Seo-bing-go ("west ice storage warehouse") were built in Han-Yang (currently Seoul, Korea). The buildings housed ice that was collected from the frozen Han River in January (by lunar calendar). The warehouse was well-insulated, providing the royal families with ice into the summer months.[citation needed] These warehouses were closed in 1898 AD but the buildings are still intact in Seoul.
  • 1650 – Otto von Guericke designed and built the world's first vacuum pump and created the world's first ever vacuum known as the Magdeburg hemispheres to disprove Aristotle's long-held supposition that 'Nature abhors a vacuum'.
  • 1656 – Robert Boyle and Robert Hooke built an air pump on this design.
  • 1662 – Boyle's law (gas law relating pressure and volume) is demonstrated using a vacuum pump
  • 1665 – Boyle theorizes a minimum temperature in New Experiments and Observations touching Cold.
  • 1679 – Denis Papinsafety valve
  • 1702 – Guillaume Amontons first calculates absolute zero to be −240 °C using an air thermometer, theorizing at this point the gas would reach zero volume and zero pressure.
  • 1756 – The first documented public demonstration of artificial refrigeration by William Cullen[3]
  • 1782 – Antoine Lavoisier and Pierre-Simon Laplace invent the ice-calorimeter
  • 1784 – Gaspard Monge liquefied the first gas producing liquid sulfur dioxide.
  • 1787 – Charles's law (Gas law, relating volume and temperature)

19th century[edit]

20th century[edit]

21st century[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The terminology of low-temperature technology (discussion)". Retrieved 15 March 2015. 
  2. ^ Stephanie Dalley (1 January 2002). Mari and Karana: Two Old Babylonian Cities. Gorgias Press LLC. p. 91. ISBN 978-1-931956-02-4. 
  3. ^ William Cullen, Of the Cold Produced by Evaporating Fluids and of Some Other Means of Producing Cold, in Essays and Observations Physical and Literary Read Before a Society in Edinburgh and Published by Them, II, (Edinburgh 1756)
  4. ^ 1803 – Thomas Moore
  5. ^ 1844 – Charles Piazzi Smyth
  6. ^ 1851 John Gorrie
  7. ^ "Patent Images". Retrieved 15 March 2015. 
  8. ^ "app-a1". Retrieved 15 March 2015. 
  9. ^ Vacuum Science & Technology Timeline
  10. ^ "New State of Matter Seen Near Absolute Zero". NIST. 
  11. ^ "Coldest spot in known universe: NASA to study almost absolute zero matter at ISS". Retrieved 15 March 2015. 

External links[edit]