Absolute Cold

Winter is here and with that brings what we believe to be freezing cold weather. The freezing point of water and what we interpret to be freezing is 0 degrees. This isn’t absolute cold as there are negative temperatures both in the Fahrenheit and degrees selsius scales.

To get to absolute cold we need to define what temperature actually is. What makes matter and energy have temperature is the vibration of the constituent particles within the matter. The less vibration the colder it is.

When the particles vibrate, the kinetic energy produces heat and gives a temperature that can be measured. So really temperature is the measurement of particle vibration.

Absolute cold would be a state where the constituent particles do not vibrate whatsoever, what we would call perfect stillness. Both in the laboratory and deep interstellar space this temperature is impossible to achieve.

The actual temperature of absolute cold is -273.15°C. The ambient temperature of interstellar space in its natural state is 2.73 degrees Kelvin, in new money -270.42°C.

Although the temperature of interstellar space can fluctuate given the distribution of gas clouds, stars and nebulae scattered randomly but the average ambient temperature is normally measured as -270.42°C. This would be the temperature experienced by Voyager 2 which left the solar system heliosphere in 2012.

Despite all efforts, absolute cold has not been achieved and most likely probably never will. Although in saying that, it wasn’t long ago physicists believed there couldn’t be negative mass or repulsive gravity.

So can absolute hot temperature would be 140 quintillion kelvins. Again this temperature would be impossible to achieve. This would be higher than the Planck temperature.

To achieve both ends of the temperature scale is impossible. In the case of absolute hot, there would need to be an infinite amount of mass to accumulate an infinite amount of energy to maintain the highest temperature possible.

Jude Morrow

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