Movies | TV | Books | Quotes Easter Eggs | Drink Recipes
[ Logo] The Slip-Up ArchiveTM
Home > TV > Q - T > Star Trek: The Next Generation Bloopers Add a Slip-Up | Help
Star Trek: The Next Generation - Colder Than Absolute Zero
Early in the episode, a crew member measures and announces a temperature reading of less than minus 273.16 degrees Celcius. Jacques Charles would turn in his grave!
Special Requirements:
The episode called "Casino Royale"
Avg. Rating:    6.8 of 10 - (85 votes cast)
Your Rating:   
Contributed By:
Nando on 05-02-2001
Reviewed By:

Pictures Click on the thumbnails for a full-size image, or send in your own
Enterprise reports 22 degrees below absolute zero! Zow!
Enterprise reports 22 degrees below absolute zero! Zow!
heisenberg writes:
As I recall, the temperature was in the region of about -290 degrees Celsius, about 16 to 17 degrees below absolute zero. Absolute zero is that temperature when the energy of the system is at its lowest possible value (this is not the same as the atoms and molecules having no motion: motion never stops, even at absolute zero - this is a consequence of quantum mechanics). While it is possible to obtain temperatures below absolute zero (regions within a laser have temperatures below absolute zero, for example), such temperatures do not occur in nature, and certainly they do not appear in expanses as large as a planet. Actually, temperatures below absolute zero are hotter than ordinary temperatures (moving in order from coldest to hottest, we have: absolute zero, temperatures above absolute zero (this is our regime), infinite temperature, temperatures below absolute zero, and finally, absolute zero, again). Only temperatures above absolute zero can exist over extended regions, so in "The Royale", the mistake was not so much stating a temperature which can't exist (it can), but giving the temperature as a naturally occurring temperature of a planet (the temperature can't occur anywhere in nature as it is an artificial temperature, and the temperature can't be made to extend over a whole planet). Another mistake would be to suggest that the temperature was cold, when it is actually much hotter than what we are used to. It would also be a mistake to think that the value of absolute zero on the Celsius scale would have changed in 400 years time. The First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics establish that a specific temperature Celsius is absolute zero. The value of absolute zero has been experimentally determined with such precision that the acknowledged value could not change by the amount required by the episode. To deny the given value of absolute zero (within the bounds of precision) would be either to deny one of the first two laws of Thermodynamics, or to suggest that physicists have been making significant errors with measurements for 150 years.
27 of 33 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Ryo Oh Ki writes:
Ok, if I remember my physics lessons, which isn't garenteed... minus 273.16 degrees C is absolute zero... the temperature at which there is no energy, the theoretical minimum temperature (not that it'll be possible to extract all the energy...)
19 of 24 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Maxwell Edison writes:
Actually, the slipup was quite severe: Geordi states that the "average surface temperature" is "minus 291 degrees celsius" The Episode is from Season 2, Episode #12, "The Royale" I have a screenshot of Geordi's terminal with the (readable) graphic: MEAN SURFACE TEMP: -291 deg. C Further, he mentions surface winds of "up to" 312 meters/second. That, by the way, would be Mach 0.94, or about 670+ miles/hour.
14 of 16 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
OverDri\E writes:
AJK: A lot of the people aboard the Enterprise are scientists or is somehow involved with science, and such people would never use a scale like Fahrenheit (since it's never been that popular outside the US, anyway). If they were to use any unit, it would most likely be Kelvin or Celsius. And since Kelvin has it's 0 when Celsius is at -273, a value below zero would never be possible on that scale. Given these facts, Nando is still correct. - I would like to know what episode this happened in tho.
5 of 7 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Kimpire writes:
If I remember correctly, they didn't just miss it by 1/16 of a degree or so...I'm pretty sure it was ten or fifteen degrees below absolute zero. Besides which, it's impossible to say that maybe the laws of physics were different there, because absolute zero is very simply the lowest you can go no matter what: you can't have negative energy.
7 of 12 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Howard writes:
I'm amazed that nobody has commented on all the chemical elements that are quoted in various episodes of Star Trek. As these don't exist at the present time but are accepted per se, then surely minor scientific discrepencies should also be accepted. After all it's only Sci-Fi.
7 of 14 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Shawn writes:
Absolute zero (the complete absence of energy) is set at APPROXIMATELY 273 degrees below zero Celsius. In the future, measuring equipment will surely be more accurate than we have now. (And if this were a slip-up, I seriously doubt that the writers accidentally missed the minimum temperature by sixteen hundredths of a degree.)
6 of 20 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
jedipimp writes:
Note that what we perceive to be absolute zero, is only an APPROXIMATION, so I really don't think that 16hundreths of a degree is much to be concerned about.
4 of 16 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
The Careful Watcher writes:
May I remind everyone who reads this that Absolute Zero has never been proven beyond doubt, and even if is, then how do we know that Absolute Zero only applies to EARTH. Saying that is a slip up is like saying it is impossible to travel beyond the speed of light, yet that is not a slip up. Keep an open mind people!
5 of 18 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
MorPH writes:
.....What? WHAT? What the hell is with you all? You're turning a simple slip- up into a freaking science lesson! A guy said something, a prop said different. End of story.
5 of 18 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
HackerHay writes:
Absolute Zero is measured at -273.15 C the StarTrek guys said -273.16 C thats .01 degree too low. I think the writers put that in just to piss us off! I have a feeling they knew that it was too low and wanted to piss, people like you and me who really care, off!
6 of 21 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
pokedave2001 writes:
Also, we're talking 400 years into the future and plus it's science-fiction.
5 of 21 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
AJK writes:
Don't remember this one... are you sure the measurement was being given in Celsius and not Fahrenheit or Kelvin?
1 of 16 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Patrick Coogan writes:
I don't remember the episode but perhaps they landed on a new planet, who's to say every planet should have the same minimum temperature as earth maybe there are planets out there which defy our laws of physics.
3 of 38 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes

Register - My Settings - FAQ - Privacy Policy - About Us - Contact Us