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Physics Experiments Filmed for BBC4

Story supplied by LU Press Office

Filming the fountain effect - Filming the fountain effect - "a classic experiment with superfluid helium at 2 degrees above absolute zero"

A laboratory became a TV studio when a camera crew spent the day filming experiments for two documentary programmes about low temperature physics.

The one-hour programmes, 'Absolute Zero and the Conquest of Cold', will be screened next summer on the digital BBC4 channel, PBS in the US and on the Arte TV channel in both France and Germany.

The programmes will document the history of low temperature physics, starting with the early scientists who were interested in the nature of cold, up to the present day where scientists are racing to lower and lower temperatures to try to reach absolute zero.

The programmes will also look at how society has been shaped by developments such as air conditioning and frozen foods.

Lancaster University was chosen because it was the only place the crew could film the 'fountain effect'.

Dr Shaun Fisher from the Physics Department said he was pleased about the media interest.

"It's nice to have them here making a documentary about low temperature physics because it's not something most people know much about.

"They're looking at the experiments that we show to our undergraduates. The fountain effect is a classic experiment where you get a fountain of superfluid helium at 2 degrees above absolute zero."

Fri 22 September 2006