Can you imagine making an aluminum bat hit a baseball farther, a golf club drive a golf ball even longer, or a French Horn sound even betterjust by freezing it? It's true. But not by the kind of freezing that you would do with a pizzarather by deep-freezing, using a technology called "cryogenics."
Cryogenics comes from the Greek words "kryos," which means "very cold" or "freezing," and "genes," which means "created." It is defined as "the science that deals with the production of very low temperatures and their effect on the properties of matter." By freezing objects to anywhere from 238 degrees Fahrenheit to absolute zero, or 459 degrees Fahrenheit, you can change the structure of the molecules in the object and improve its properties.
Cryogenics has been around a long time. In the late 1800s, Sir Edward Dewar found a way to compress and store gasses as liquids. He found that the containers for these liquids changed their characteristics. During World War II, scientists found that metals frozen to low temperatures showed more resistance to wear. More recently, scientists have applied the science of cryogenics to parts used in space exploration. Today, experts are using cryogenics in a number of ways, including improving the quality of sports equipment and musical instruments.
During this process, called "Deep Cryogenic Tempering," metal objects are submerged into liquid nitrogen to reach extremely low temperatures. Once treated there, the object is brought back up to room temperature. At that point, certain soft molecules convert to hard molecules, and the molecules get evenly distributed. As a result, metal parts become tougher, but less brittle because of their uniform structure. Once treated, metals are less likely to rust and more likely to resist higher temperatures. The bottom line: a harder, stronger, more durable, and longer-lasting metal that's used in everything from space exploration to sports.