Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Scientist: Phelps's Icy Stare Below Absolute Zero

Zurich, Switzerland--

Scientists at the University of Zurich studying Michael Phelps have determined that his gaze measures at temperatures below any ever measured before.

Ulrich Borgenson, Distinguished Professor of Thermal Physics, conducted the tests after Phelps's recent string of gold medal-winning races at the Beijing Olympics.

"Absolute zero is defined as zero degrees Kelvin, or -273.15 degrees Celcius," Borgenson writes in the most recent issue of the Journal of Thermodynamics, "and until now, no one has even been able to create a machine which could measure such temperatures. But Michael Phelps has proved the science wrong."

Scientists asked Phelps to stare at three targets: a vial of water, Hungarian swimmer Laszlo Cseh, and a laser thermometer. All three items were frozen solid within milliseconds.

The original lead author of the study, Doris Leuenberger, was accidentally frozen and shattered during the experiment; Borgenson dedicated the study to her memory.

Phelps has been asked to wear special goggles until scientists are able to control his icy stare. In an unrelated study, scientists in Denver, Colorado are studying whether Phelps's gaze can be used to combat global climate change.

(Photo: Michael Phelps's gaze is recorded on film seconds before the camera was frozen solid)

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