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Thread: Absolute Zero & Absolute Hot

  1. #1 Absolute Zero & Absolute Hot 
    Forum Professor arKane's Avatar
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    It seems like the concept of absolute zero is well known and we've even approached to a billionth of a kelvin degree above it. But absolute hot has several different theories all very different from eachother.

    The gist of what I get is that the temperature range between absolute zero & hot is the range that physics as we know it operates. Above and below this range is an area where physics and math break down. From reading the articles below, I didn't really understand how they determined what these limits are or why it was so much easier to figure out what absolute zero is as opposed to absolute hot?

    Also, are there any theories about what happens if we find a way to exceed these limits?

    Milestones in Cold Research
    NOVA | Milestones in Cold Research

    A Sense of Scale: Absolute Zero
    NOVA | A Sense of Scale: Absolute Zero

    Absolute Hot
    NOVA | Absolute Hot


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  3. #2  
    Forum Bachelors Degree Kerling's Avatar
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    Hm, I never gave it much thought really. Considering the standard model is renormalizable. Sure, who knows.


    In the information age ignorance is a choice.
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  4. #3  
    Forum Professor arKane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerling View Post
    Hm, I never gave it much thought really. Considering the standard model is renormalizable. Sure, who knows.
    Until I saw those articles I didn't give it much thought either. Although from time to time I have wondered what the hottest hot could possibly be. Now I actually feel better because I know know one else knows for sure either.
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  5. #4  
    Moderator Moderator Markus Hanke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arKane View Post
    It seems like the concept of absolute zero is well known and we've even approached to a billionth of a kelvin degree above it. But absolute hot has several different theories all very different from eachother.

    The gist of what I get is that the temperature range between absolute zero & hot is the range that physics as we know it operates. Above and below this range is an area where physics and math break down. From reading the articles below, I didn't really understand how they determined what these limits are or why it was so much easier to figure out what absolute zero is as opposed to absolute hot?

    Also, are there any theories about what happens if we find a way to exceed these limits?

    Milestones in Cold Research
    NOVA | Milestones in Cold Research

    A Sense of Scale: Absolute Zero
    NOVA | A Sense of Scale: Absolute Zero

    Absolute Hot
    NOVA | Absolute Hot
    My guess would be that, as you get closer to the Big Bang, quantum fluctuations of space-time become so large that the notion of "temperature", just like "where" and "when", becomes increasingly meaningless. The question as to the hottest temperature might thus be without any real substance.
    But I agree with the arKane - we simply don't know (yet) !
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  6. #5  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard icewendigo's Avatar
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    What is temperature on an atomic or subatomic scale? Is it a vibration? Does a photon, a neutrino or an electron have a temperature?
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  7. #6  
    Forum Professor arKane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Hanke View Post
    My guess would be that, as you get closer to the Big Bang, quantum fluctuations of space-time become so large that the notion of "temperature", just like "where" and "when", becomes increasingly meaningless. The question as to the hottest temperature might thus be without any real substance.
    But I agree with the arKane - we simply don't know (yet) !
    But we do have an established starting point at absolute zero. Clearly all atomic and molectular motion does not stop at absolute zero and I haven't yet been able to find out exactly why or how they arrived at that starting point.
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  8. #7  
    Moderator Moderator Markus Hanke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arKane View Post
    But we do have an established starting point at absolute zero. Clearly all atomic and molectular motion does not stop at absolute zero and I haven't yet been able to find out exactly why or how they arrived at that starting point.
    The entropy change of any isothermal process would be zero at T=0. That is how it is defined. In other words, it is the state where the entropy of a system is at its minimum.
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