# What is the temperature in vacuum

• kelvin490
In summary, the conversation discussed the concept of temperature and its measurement in a space with no particles or very few particles. It was mentioned that in such a space, a temperature-measuring device would measure the temperature of the electromagnetic radiation hitting the detector. The temperature in space varies greatly due to the presence of particles and other sources of radiation. It was also noted that in a vacuum, heat loss occurs through radiation and would result in freezing or death. The conversation also touched on the balance of energy loss through radiation and other forms of energy in different environmental conditions.
kelvin490
Gold Member
hi, I have learned that temperature defined by man is a measurement of average kinetic energy of particles, how about that in a space that is no particles at all or just a very few number of them? What readings will we get if we put a temperature-measuring device in a highly vacuumized container?

Thank you.

You will get a measurement of the temperature of the EM radiation hitting your detector. In space we have measured the Cosmic Microwave Background at 2.725 k. However, even in space there are particles, just like you said. The temperature of these vary in the extreme from location to location. Also, you have more than the CMB in space. The EMR from other stars is much higher in temp than the CMB. It simply varies enormously.

So does that mean if I was sitting in a vacuum, I wouldn't lose any heat?

You would lose heat through radiation.

LogicX said:
So does that mean if I was sitting in a vacuum, I wouldn't lose any heat?

The CMB and other stuff would radiate TO you, but a pretty small amount, and you would radiate to THEM, but a much larger amount, and you would die of freezing. I've heard that this would occur pretty quickly and you would likely NOT die from lack of oxygen, if you started off with a lungful. Actually, I think it's more like you would go into shock very quickly and your heart would stop before you froze.

Any way you cut it, it would be a really bad idea.

Also, if you really are in a vacuum and you neglect the CMBR, there is no temperature because temperature is a thermodynamic phenomena which really needs a large number of particles to make sense.

phinds said:
The CMB and other stuff would radiate TO you, but a pretty small amount, and you would radiate to THEM, but a much larger amount, and you would die of freezing. I've heard that this would occur pretty quickly and you would likely NOT die from lack of oxygen, if you started off with a lungful. Actually, I think it's more like you would go into shock very quickly and your heart would stop before you froze.

Any way you cut it, it would be a really bad idea.

Negative, you will die from lack of oxygen long before you freeze. Remember, your body is producing heat and the only way to get rid of it is through radiation, which is much less effective than convection/conduction.

phinds said:
The CMB and other stuff would radiate TO you, but a pretty small amount, and you would radiate to THEM, but a much larger amount, and you would die of freezing. I've heard that this would occur pretty quickly and you would likely NOT die from lack of oxygen, if you started off with a lungful. Actually, I think it's more like you would go into shock very quickly and your heart would stop before you froze.

Any way you cut it, it would be a really bad idea.

I believe you would only lose heat at a rate of a few hundred watts, so you'd pretty much definitely asphyxiate first. Definitely a bad idea though...

Why we will radiate to the space at a much slower rate than that we absorb radiation?

kelvin490 said:
Why we will radiate to the space at a much slower rate than that we absorb radiation?

You won't. Your body radiates at a much higher temperature than the CMB.

kelvin490 said:
Why we will radiate to the space at a much slower rate than that we absorb radiation?

Specifically referring to the CMB, it is at such a low energy that only a very very low temperature would be required to emit light of that frequency/spectrum. You and I are MUCH higher than the temperature of an object that would emit something similar to the CMB. So not only do we emit a higher frequency of light, aka infrared, we also emit more photons than we absorb.

If you moved away from the shadow of the Earth or spacecraft or whatever, and into direct sunlight, you would begin to heat up.

Drakkith said:
Specifically referring to the CMB, it is at such a low energy that only a very very low temperature would be required to emit light of that frequency/spectrum. You and I are MUCH higher than the temperature of an object that would emit something similar to the CMB.

Can we say that on Earth our energy loss in radiation are mostly balanced by the energy of air particles around us (and other forms of energy)?

kelvin490 said:
Can we say that on Earth our energy loss in radiation are mostly balanced by the energy of air particles around us (and other forms of energy)?

On a cold day, no, we radiate more than the surroundings. On a hot day, no, we radiate less than the surroundings. On a Goldilocks day, yes, it exactly balances.

kelvin490 said:
Can we say that on Earth our energy loss in radiation are mostly balanced by the energy of air particles around us (and other forms of energy)?

What do you mean by balanced? Depending on the temperature of the air your body will lose or gain heat because of it. If the temperature of the air is say, 20 degrees F, the heat loss via the air is probably much greater than radiation.

phinds said:
On a cold day, no, we radiate more than the surroundings. On a hot day, no, we radiate less than the surroundings. On a Goldilocks day, yes, it exactly balances.

Not so. The amount we radiate is a function of our mean skin temperature (about 33°C), our radiative coefficient (about 0.95), and our mean skin area. It is independent of our surroundings. Net radiation, of course is another matter. However, the question was on how much we radiate.

I gave my students a little problem on this once, but I can't find my notes. I seem to recall that the average human being radiates some 22,000 Calories (kilocalories) per 24-hour day.

I think that is what phinds meant klimatos.

klimatos said:
Not so. The amount we radiate is a function of our mean skin temperature (about 33°C), our radiative coefficient (about 0.95), and our mean skin area. It is independent of our surroundings. Net radiation, of course is another matter. However, the question was on how much we radiate.

I can't figure how you interpreted what I said as meaning that I thought the amount we radiate differs based on the surroundings. What I said was that we radiate MORE or LESS than our surroundings (or rarely, the same amount) which was a direct answer to the question, which was about BALANCE, not absolute amount. It seems to me that you misunderstood both the question I was answering and my answer.

phinds said:
I can't figure how you interpreted what I said as meaning that I thought the amount we radiate differs based on the surroundings. What I said was that we radiate MORE or LESS than our surroundings (or rarely, the same amount) which was a direct answer to the question, which was about BALANCE, not absolute amount. It seems to me that you misunderstood both the question I was answering and my answer.

I appear to have done just that. I apologize. Sometimes I pay too much attention to the wording and not enough to the sense of a statement.

klimatos said:
I appear to have done just that. I apologize. Sometimes I pay too much attention to the wording and not enough to the sense of a statement.

No problem. I've done the same.

What exactly are you talking about when you say we would radiate heat? When I think of heat transfer, I usually think conduction where a particle vibrating so fast hits another particle which is vibrating at a different speed and energy is transferred. If you are in a vacuum, how is the heat leaving your body?

LogicX said:
What exactly are you talking about when you say we would radiate heat? When I think of heat transfer, I usually think conduction where a particle vibrating so fast hits another particle which is vibrating at a different speed and energy is transferred. If you are in a vacuum, how is the heat leaving your body?

At ANY temperature above absolute zero every object emits Electromagnetic Radiation. The higher the temperature the higher the frequency of the radiation and the larger amount there is. (AKA more photons are emitted) This is why objects begin to glow when heated to a high temperature.
See here for more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_body

hey...but where does our body's heat go...?? that is , it must be transferred to some other body...

it IS transferred to somewhere ... everywhere around us, just as the radiant energy from everywhere around us is transferred to us. I'm busy today heating up the house across the street from me by radiating my body heat to it, out through my window. Of course it's a hot day, so EVERYTHING outside my widow within a reasonable distance is radiating right back at me, so overall, I'm getting warmer. Wish I had air conditioning, then the air of my room would absorb more of by radiation than what I'm getting in return, AND it would cool me off my convection as well.

is the radiation coming out of my body is an EMR?

Drakkith said:
Negative, you will die from lack of oxygen long before you freeze. Remember, your body is producing heat and the only way to get rid of it is through radiation, which is much less effective than convection/conduction.

Drakkith, I think that's an excellent point and something I overlooked. I was basing my statement on something I had heard about what would happen ON EARTH if you were exposed to near-absolute zero conditions, but here you would have both convection into and conduction from the air, in addition to radiation. Thanks for pointing out my error.

## 1. What is vacuum temperature?

The term "vacuum temperature" is not well-defined in scientific literature. It can refer to the temperature of a vacuum chamber or the temperature of particles in a vacuum, which may not be the same as the surrounding environment.

## 2. Is there a temperature in space vacuum?

Since space is mostly a vacuum, the temperature in space is essentially the same as the temperature of the objects within it. However, the lack of atmosphere means that there is no medium for heat to transfer, so objects in space may experience extreme temperature fluctuations.

## 3. Can you measure temperature in a vacuum?

Yes, it is possible to measure temperature in a vacuum using specialized instruments. However, the readings may not be accurate due to the lack of air molecules to carry heat away from the object being measured.

## 4. What is the temperature of absolute vacuum?

Absolute vacuum refers to a theoretical state where there are no particles present. In this case, temperature cannot be defined as there is nothing for it to affect. In reality, achieving absolute vacuum is impossible.

## 5. How does temperature affect vacuum?

In a vacuum, temperature does not have the same effect as it does in a normal atmosphere. Heat transfer through conduction and convection is limited, so objects may experience extreme temperature changes. Additionally, the lack of air molecules means that there is no medium for sound or air pressure, which can affect temperature readings.

• Thermodynamics
Replies
16
Views
1K
• Thermodynamics
Replies
10
Views
1K
• Thermodynamics
Replies
5
Views
2K
• Thermodynamics
Replies
5
Views
2K
• Thermodynamics
Replies
7
Views
3K
• Thermodynamics
Replies
6
Views
2K
• Thermodynamics
Replies
4
Views
2K
• Thermodynamics
Replies
4
Views
816
• Cosmology
Replies
5
Views
427
• Thermodynamics
Replies
10
Views
1K