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Why have a minimum temperature

  1. Mar 31, 2009 #1
    Hi everybody...I have a sutupid questionf for you. Question is:
    Why have i a minimum temperature (-273 celsisus) and no maximum temperature in nature?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 1, 2009 #2
    Re: temperature

    its not much different from asking why is there a lowest natural number, but no highest natural number?

    you can have infinite temperature, in principle, with infinite kinetic energy of the particles involved...
    if you want to get technical, it would be bounded by something proportional to the total energy of the universe.
  4. Apr 1, 2009 #3
    Re: temperature

    What? Atoms are made of subatomic particles. The more energy you dump into your system, the more likely it is that you will strip the electrons off, then the nucleus itself, and then that into smaller particles. You cant have any arbitrarily high energy level while maintaining the atomic structure of what your looking at.
  5. Apr 2, 2009 #4
    Re: temperature

    It's jusk like you have a balance, in which you can put something and measure its weight. The weight can be zero, can be a certain value , a bigger value and bigger... you can not have the top end if the balance allows . speaking differently, it has lower limit (zero) , but has no higher limit.
  6. Apr 2, 2009 #5
    Re: temperature

    Just think of what temperature means. At absolute zero, the subatomic particles aren't moving at all. There is no kinetic energy. If something is not moving at all, how can you make it move less?

    Also, I may be wrong about this, but I'd imagine there is some upper limit on temperature. We would need conditions like the very beginning of the universe to have certain temperatures. At some temperature, I'd imagine matter would shake itself apart completely.
  7. Apr 2, 2009 #6
    Re: temperature

    tanks for your answers...can you ask if there is a mathematical proof on this matter especially at atomic and sub-atomic level?
    Best regards
  8. Apr 3, 2009 #7
    Re: temperature

    right, but you can still talk about the kinetic energy of the constituents, whatever they may be. Is temperature defined strictly for atoms?
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