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Home > News > Too small for the thermometer

January 29th, 2004

Too small for the thermometer

Researchers experimenting with nanoparticles are always careful to specify the temperature at which their studies were conducted. But an analysis by researchers in Germany and the UK casts doubt on whether such figures are meaningful. Michael Hartmann of the University of Stuttgart and co-workers argue that at the nanoscale, the very idea of temperature becomes ambiguous. They show that at such scales, one cannot be sure that all parts of a system are in the same thermal state.

* Nature

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