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Thread: temp. effect on subatomic particles

  1. #1 temp. effect on subatomic particles 
    Moderator Moderator AlexP's Avatar
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    Of course a change in temperature has an effect on the atoms of a substance, but does it have any kind of effect on subatomic particles (protons, neutrons, electrons)? I wouldn't think so, but it can't hurt to ask. Only thing I can think of is that they'd potentially collide with each other more often, possibly causing reactions between then, but this wouldn't be a direct effect. And considering the speeds and energy they use in particle accelerators to collide things, I'm kind of doubting that they'd react just by being heated up...


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    In a nuclear fusion reaction, high temperatures are needed to overcome the electrostatic repulsion of the protons in the nuclei. It gets hot enough for this in the interior of a star. Is that what you meant?



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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    In a nuclear fusion reaction, high temperatures are needed to overcome the electrostatic repulsion of the protons in the nuclei. It gets hot enough for this in the interior of a star. Is that what you meant?
    I did mean anything specific, so yes, that was interesting, thank you.
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    Heat has much to do with the particals of an atom. The cooler the atom is the slower the spin and orbits. Until you hit absolute zero where theoretically all motion within an atom stops completely. Heat, or lack of, not only effects the states of elements and compounds but solubility as well.
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    When you are dealing with subatomic particles, the concept of temperature really has no meaning. Temperature is a measure of the average kinetic energy of all the molecules in a system. For an isolated proton or electron there can be no such average.

    Within an atom, such phenomena as electron transitions are not dependant on temperature. The same energy is released or absorbed regardless of temperature.
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