Life Of Navin

Random Musings, Random Bullshit.


Is there an Absolute Hot??

Ever Wondered this?This was a question asked to me by a good friend of mine today morning... I promised him I wouldn't rest or eat till I got an answer to his "curiously puzzling" question.After a quick nap and a light pre-breakfast snack followed by breakfast itself ,I set on my journey to find consolidate my position as "snobby Know-it-all". We all know that Absolute zero is 0 K, or about minus 460 F. You can't get colder than that; it would be like trying to go south from the South Pole. Now is there a corresponding maximum possible temperature?

Well, the answer, when I asked four-five physicists/teachers that I know well was
1: yes,
2: no, or

Huh? . Yeah, that's how I felt. And the question doesn't just mess with the minds of physics dummies like me. One of them even said things like "It's a little bit out of my comfort zone" and "I think I'd like to ruminate over it."

So there was only one thing left to do.....Trusty old GOOGLE!!

A little search and I realized that this was going to be a long day.I Why? Because, in some sense, nothing less than the future of our universe depends on the answer to this question.

Here's some of the theories I came across

A:10^32 K

Certain cosmological models, including the one that has held sway for decades, the Standard Model, posit a theoretical highest temperature. It's called the Planck temperature, after the German physicist Max Planck, and it equals about 100 million million million million million degrees, or 10^32 Kelvin. It's a billion billion times the largest temperature that we have to think about (in gamma-ray bursts and quasars, for instance).

When contemplating the Planck temperature, you can forget perspective. All the usual terms for very hot—scorching, broiling, hellish, (insert your favorite here)—seems like sunbathing on a beach in Goa . You get the picture I hope!!

Whatever the highest temperature is, it might be essentially equivalent to the symmetrical with temperature.

In conventional physics—that is, the kind that relies on Einstein's theory of general relativity to describe the very large and quantum mechanics to describe the very small—the Planck temperature was reached 10^-43 seconds after the Big Bang got under way. At that moment, known as Unit Planck time, the entire universe is thought to have been the Planck length, or 10^-35 meters. An awfully high temperature in an awfully small space in an awfully short time after … well, after what? That's arguably an even bigger question—how did the universe begin?Boink,I just bumped into a Big Wall......So I thought I'd come back to this later

Conventional physics breaks down at 1032 K—that is, earlier than one Planck time—calculations show that strange things, unknown things, begin to happen to phenomena we hold near and dear, like space and time. Theory predicts that particle energies become so large that the gravitational forces between them become as strong as any other forces. That is, gravity and the other three fundamental forces of the universe—electromagnetism and the strong and weak nuclear forces—become a single unified force. Knowing how that happens, the so-called "theory of everything," is the holy grail of theoretical physics today.

B:10^30 K
String theorists, those physicists who believe the universe at its most fundamental consists not of particles but of tiny, vibrating strings, have their own take on temperature.Harvard string theorist Cumrun Vafa and Brandenberger have proposed a model of the early universe that's quite different from that of traditional Big Bang models.

Called string gas cosmology, this model posits a maximum temperature called the Hagedorn temperature. (It's named after the late German physicist Rolf Hagedorn.) "This is the maximal temperature which string theory predicts," Brandenberger says. While in general, the Hagedorn temperature is not a specific number, Brandenberger has reasons to think it's about one percent of its theoretical cousin, the Planck. That makes it about 10^30 K, or two orders of magnitude below the Planck.

C: 10^17 K

Stephon Alexander,an assistant professor of physics at Penn State, says "10^17 K may be that temperature that physicists seek—the temperature or the energy right around the energy that the Large Hadron Collider, the world's largest particle accelerator(LHC) will be probing." The LHC will operate at 14 trillion electron volts, or terra electron volts, designated TeV. Fourteen TeV equals 10^17 K, thus 15 orders of magnitude below the Planck.

Why could the LHC help determine this? As Brandenberger explains, string theory predicts that space-time has more than four dimensions, either 10 or 11. (Now that was something new for me!!)."Now, the other dimensions, which are hidden to us, could either be very, very tiny—they could be strings or Planck scale—or else they could be TeV scale." And if these extra dimensions prove to be TeV scale, he says, then the topmost temperature will be TeV scale too.

The discovery of Highest Temperature will be as big as the discovery of relativity and quantum mechanics itself -Stephon Alexander

D:0 K

No thats not a typing mistake...As if at least three different possible opposites to absolute zero weren't enough to give Einstein a headache, what i found out next really got me heated up. Certain scientists believe that whatever the highest temperature is ,i it does exist , it might be essentially equivalent to the coldest temperature. "In other words, zero temperature is the same as the Planck temperature."

A professor at the Goa University described to me two potential ways the universe began. Either it was at the Planck temperature and then cooled to create what we see today. Or it started off at zero temperature and went up as it expanded. "So one of two situations could have happened," he said.

So is it possible that the physics of the coldest possible temperature be equivalent to the physics of the hottest possible temperature? Considering that beyond both limits—below one and above the other—space and time start to do those strange, unknown things, you can't really say...

E:Fill the Greatest Number You can Think Of Here!!

Its a possibility right?? After all, classical general relativity calls for an infinitely high temperature at the very start of the universe, as well as in the centermost point, the theory of black holes and all that.
The temperature scale from cold to hot runs +0 K, …, +300 K, …, +∞ K, -∞ K, …, -300 K, …, -0 K.-Charles Kittel and Herbert Kroemer

Another Theory speaks of circular temperature scales.Theoretically speaking, you go above the Planck to an infinitely high temperature, the next step beyond infinity is minus infinity. "You're not talking about thermal distribution anymore,"says Prof. Robert Jr. from MIT, "but if you keep pushing it, you basically go through infinity over to minus infinity and then come around on the other side." Wow! "What you really should be paying attention to," he added, "is 1 over T [where T is max temperature], because one over infinity and one over minus infinity are basically the same thing."

Perhaps the best answer to my question came from one of my teachers who'se been teaching me for a little over 2 years now . "There may be a highest Temperature" he told me. "But let me mu
ll it over…"And I I think this topic is best left at that!!


Anonymous said...

absolute gem of an article :=)


Finally after all these years, here's to the beginning of what was there, what is there and hopefully what will remain!! So here are my thoughts & words -Online!!

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