Absolute Zero, about -273.15ºC, is the coldest known temperature

  1. Absolute Zero, about -273.15ºC, is the coldest known temperature possible, where matter it's self, stops moving, and energy can't build up. But, could there be...say, an absolute ∞? Or like....and Absolute energy? Could these be physically possible, and where would these things be found. What side effects would these things have?

    Thanks, bye!
  2. jcsd
  3. Drakkith

    Staff: Mentor

    Re: Absolute

    Infinite means that it never ends. How can you have a neverending amount of something? And absolute energy doesn't mean anything. That doesn't define the energy your talking about. We need a number or something else to define that.
  4. Re: Absolute

    1)What I mean is like, as much energy as possible

    2)The "∞" Just means so much heat, like the inverse of Absolute 0....
  5. Drakkith

    Staff: Mentor

    Re: Absolute

    I think I understand what you are asking. I think I've heard of a "maximum" temperature that after that standard physics breaks down, but I don't know for sure.
  6. Re: Absolute

    Just to say: "Absolute Zero" temperature does not cause an atom to degenerate into some type of quantum foam.
  7. Re: Absolute

    As far as i know, the models we use for thermodynamics do not have a maximum temperature value. One way to look at it is this: as temperature increases, the entropy increases too. But the rate of entropy increasing goes to zero for infinite temperature increase. This means that at some point, you'll need to put in your system more energy than there is energy in the universe just to make the temperature go higher... But as far as i know, there are no limits to how much you can heat a system.
  8. Re: Absolute

    Hmmm...interesting thoughts on this. One thing first: When something gains more heat, the standard explanation is the atoms/molecules "buzz" more and zip around, so (If that simple way of explaining temp. is true) Then couldn't there be a point at heat where the energy is so great the molecular structure just can't take it anymore, and it falls apart, breaking into chaos and just falling apart? Something like that....?
  9. Drakkith

    Staff: Mentor

    Re: Absolute

    Most definately. Inside the sun the pressure in the core causes the atoms and molecules to heat up enormously. This heat causes the electrons to be stripped from their orbits, resulting in a sea of ionized particles (electrons and protons) called a Plasma. These protons are moving so fast due to the heat that they collide into each other, and in a process called Nucleosynthesis fuse together by Nuclear Fusion, releasing energy that makes the sun shine on all of us here on earth. =)
  10. Re: Absolute

    Sure, but it just keeps breaking down. You may want to study Big Bang theory and nucleosynthesis to get a reversed version of what you're talking about. Concentrate enough energy in a small enough area, and you end with a QGP (Quark-Gluon Plasma), and who knows beyond that.

    Intuitively, it seems that it would be an asymptotic process without a clear end. You're essentially saying that because silence exists, there must be a maximum volume as well... maybe, but it doesn't logically follow.

    Drakkith beat me to it, damn.
  11. Re: Absolute

    Ah yes...I know about plasma...so is the verdict that there possibly COULD be an absolute heat?....
  12. Drakkith

    Staff: Mentor

    Re: Absolute

    I don't believe so. But no one can say 100% for sure that there is not.
  13. Re: Absolute

    By kinetic theory a gas's temperature would be limited purely by the individual particle velocities, which would naturally be limited by the speed of light. So it would seem the temperature of a gas would be the maximum kinetic energy of an individual particle. Considering one lone particle, a hydrogen atom kinetic theory would suggest that the hydrogen particles temperature would approach 3.92 E 14 Kelvin or around 392 TK. This doesn't quit work though because as V approaches the speed of light there would be a relitavistic increase in mass causing the kinetic energy to go to infinity as V approaches C. So it would appear in the case of a lone particle that the temperature could be unbounded.

    However in a system of particles, as pointed out before , at some point Nuclear fusion would occur. Energies at which nuclear fusion occur are typically on the order of Mev or around 1 Billion Kelvin (10^9 K) so the process would be complicated by exchanges of energy in particles. Fusion reaction rates increase with temperature and at some point reache a maximum and begins to drop off. So maybe this behavior would be assymptotic.

    Considering fusion chain reactions in stars we could maybe put a picture together of what this theoretical "absolute hot" assymptotic behavior might look like. Collisons of four protons create one alpha particle, two positrons and two neutrinos and energy. Maybe this break down into smaller less physical particles at some point limits and lowers the kinetic energy of the system ultimately lowering the temperature. At an absolute hot temperature, rather than some ultimate situation analogous to absolute zero in which particles theoretically stop moving, perhaps matter is transformed into pure energy.

    So my answer would be theoretically it seems there must be some assymptotic limit. On the other hand, Kinetically speaking, energy goes to infinity as V approaches C. So who knows, fun question.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2011
  14. Re: Absolute

    :D Thanks, I thought this was an interesting question too...that's why I posted! :D
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