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If there was a perfect environment, and something was able to continue to heat up indefinitely, what would happen?.. What would be the outcome of something continuously heating up?


marked as duplicate by WetSavannaAnimal, sammy gerbil, ACuriousMind, John Rennie, Qmechanic Aug 11 '16 at 19:20

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    $\begingroup$ Possible duplicate of physics.stackexchange.com/q/247056 $\endgroup$ – kpv Apr 4 '16 at 18:05
  • $\begingroup$ I've voted to close because I think @kpv's link gives the most complete answer possible. Noa, this doesn't mean I think it's a bad question - it's not and indeed a very interesting one (I've also upvoted it as an interesting and useful question). We simply don't know: the accepted answer for the alleged duplicate explains how our theories simply eventually "give out" and also makes the interesting point that confinement by gravity i.e. self confinement of the hot stuff, is one of the few ways temperatures can get extremely high and stay that way. $\endgroup$ – WetSavannaAnimal Aug 11 '16 at 2:03

No. At some point the kinetic energy of the sub-atomic particles making up the object will be greater than the binding energy of those particles. This may be a very high temperature for particles bound with the strong (or weak) force.

In practice, the atoms will fly apart when the kinetic energy is great enough to overcome the attraction between atoms that holds the molecules together. The particles move away from each other so fast that they cannot exchange kinetic energy by collisions. This is one problem with trying to build a fusion reactor; the hot particles keep escaping. (Stars avoid this problem by being really big.)


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