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World s coolest research at UWA
The West Australian World's coolest research at UWA

A high-tech refrigerator capable of recreating temperatures found in the coldest parts of the universe has been installed at the University of WA.

Researchers are using the machine, capable of creating temperatures lower than minus 272C, to conduct groundbreaking research into the fundamental rules of physics.

The $400,000 BlueFors refrigerator, which is filled with Helium 3 gas and has a gold-plated interior, is the most powerful built by the Finnish company.

The coldest temperature possible, known as absolute zero, is minus 273C.

UWA physicist Mike Tobar said his team would use the machine to cool items, such as sapphires and other pure crystals, to rare low temperatures to examine their behaviour.

Professor Tobar said his team's experiments could lead to a better understanding of quantum mechanics, the basics of which made computers and the internet possible.

"Where once we were looking through a pea-soup fog, now we've got a clear blue sky," he said.