How to exclude the temperature

Perhaps one of the strangest collections of printed material that we have at Admiral Document Storage is a collection of instruction manuals.

These have been gathered together by a company that specialises in writing … well, instruction manuals, and as such represents the only depository of their work outside their own offices.  (Instruction manuals often are not registered with the British Library and don’t carry ISBNs, so are not stored automatically in their massive vaults.)

I mention this because just recently we received another box load of instruction manuals that the company had written.  Taking the boxes in, I was directed, with some amusement, to the manual of a washing machine.

The manual, it turns out, was not written by this company, but they do as a matter of course, take a look at what non-customers of theirs are producing.

It appears that where they see any oddity, they point out to the company in question that maybe matters have not been expressed as succinctly as they might have been, and perhaps next time they could be given the contract for writing the instructions.

In this case the manual contained quite a bit of detail about the button to control the temperature of the machine.  It said,

“Temperature button: press to reduce or completely exclude the temperature.”

Now you might like to pause for a moment and contemplate this.  Completely excluding temperature would take one, presumably, to what scientists who know about such things call “Absolute zero”.

Absolute zero is defined as −273.15° centigrade (or if you prefer Celsius) and −459.67° on the Fahrenheit scale.  It is when all the atoms and whatnot in an environment stop moving.

Since there is nowhere in the natural universe where the temperature drops to this point, and since scientists attempting to reach absolute zero have never got to it, it seems remarkable that a simple modestly priced washing machine could get down to this previously unachieved state.

I’d like to tell you more, but while I was searching around for more information on this, I came up with a really interesting statement on Wikipedia in its “absolute zero” article – and this is where I decided to stop trying to expand my knowledge of the subject.

“A system with a truly negative temperature is not colder than absolute zero. Rather, a system with a negative temperature is hotter than any system with a positive temperature in the sense that if a negative-temperature system and a positive-temperature system come in contact, heat will flow from the negative- to the positive-temperature system.”

So now you know.

Fortunately we have no negative temperature products in our warehouse. What we store is, for the most part, paper.  So if you have something to store, you can get in touch safe in the knowledge that none of this heat flow malarkey will affect your valued documents.

Everything is kept at an even temperature.  No matter what the manual says, we absolutely do not go mucking around with the natural universe in our storage facility.

For more information about our document storage facility take a look at our website.  Alternatively give us a call on 0800 783 9516.

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