Questions tagged [temperature]

It's the physical property that indicates the degree/intensity of heat present in a substance or an object. It can be expressed and measured according to various scales.

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Why is there no absolute maximum temperature?

If temperature makes particles vibrate faster, and movement is limited by the speed of light, then I would assume that temperature must be limited as well. Why is there no limit?
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Visualising gas temperature and gas pressure

Gas pressure is created when gas molecules collide with the wall of the container creating a force. Gas temperature is a measure of how fast the molecules are moving / vibrating. However, they both ...
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Prove that negative absolute temperatures are actually hotter than positive absolute temperatures

Could someone provide me with a mathematical proof of why, a system with an absolute negative Kelvin temperature (such that of a spin system) is hotter than any system with a positive temperature (in ...
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Is temperature a Lorentz invariant in relativity?

If an observer starts moving at relativistic speeds will he observe the temperature of objects to change as compared to their rest temperatures? Suppose the rest temperature measured is $T$ and the ...
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How does water evaporate if it doesn't boil?

When the sun is out after a rain, I can see what appears to be steam rising off a wooden bridge nearby. I'm pretty sure this is water turning into a gas. However, I thought water had to reach 100 ...
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Why isn't temperature frame dependent?

In (non-relativistic) classical physics, if the temperature of an object is proportional to the average kinetic energy ${1 \over 2} m\overline {v^{2}}$of its particles (or molecules), then shouldn't ...
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Can a single molecule have a temperature?

A show on the weather channel said that as a water molecule ascends in the atmosphere it cools. Does it make sense to talk about the temperature of a single molecule?
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33 votes
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How can it be that the beginning universe had a high temperature and a low entropy at the same time?

The Big Bang theory assumes that our universe started from a very/infinitely dense and extremely/infinitely hot state. But on the other side, it is often claimed that our universe must have been ...
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Why has Earth's core not become solid?

The Earth is billions of years old, yet its core has not yet cooled down and become solid. Will this happen in the foreseeable future?
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Absolute zero and Heisenberg uncertainty principle

I got to read Volume I of Feynmann's lectures. It said that at absolute zero, molecular motion doesn't cease at all, because if that happens, we will be able to make precise determination of position ...
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What exactly is heat?

Is it energy? Is it energy per unit volume? Is it energy per unit time i.e power? What is it?
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What's the most fundamental definition of temperature?

What's the most fundamental definition of temperature? Is it the definition concern about average energy, number of micro states, or what? By "fundamental", I mean "to be applied" in such general ...
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Why does cold metal seem colder than cold air?

(I apologize for this elementary question. I don't know much about physics.) Let's say that I put a metal pot in the refrigerator for several hours. At this point, I guess, the pot and the air (in ...
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13 votes
4 answers
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Temperature below absolute zero?

I saw this Nature article today, which cites e.g. arXiv:1211.0545. And it makes no sense to me. The temperature of a collection of particles is the average kinetic energy of those particles. Kinetic ...
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Why less temperature at high altitude

Why there is always cold at high altitudes. e.g. at peak of mountains. Also as we go high from sea level, temperature starts decreasing. Why is it?
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9 votes
3 answers
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Temperature in space

Temperature is a measure of kinetic energy transferred to particles, henceforth, space being vacuum, temperature cannot be measured. But then, there is cosmic background radiation. It is the leftover ...
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Will a hole cut into a metal disk expand or shrink when the disc is heated?

Take a metal disc and cut a small, circular hole in the center. When you heat the whole thing, will the hole's diameter increase or decrease? and why? What will happen to the diameter of disc?
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How can the speed of sound increase with an increase in temperature?

I was reading a textbook. I found that it was mentioned the speed of sound increases with increase in temperature. But sound is a mechanical wave, and it travels faster when molecules are closer. ...
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26 votes
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Why does the road look like it's wet on hot days?

Often, I'll be driving down the road on a summer day, and as I look ahead toward the horizon, I notice that the road looks like there's a puddle of water on it, or that it was somehow wet. Of course, ...
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Why does blowing on someone who is wet feel colder than on someone who is dry?

The title says it all. If I'm standing in the wind and I'm wet, I feel much colder than when I'm dry. This is true no matter how warm or cold the water. Why is this?
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Why isn't temperature measured in Joules?

If we set the Boltzmann constant to $1$, then entropy would just be $\ln \Omega$, temperature would be measured in $\text{joules}$ ($\,\text{J}\,$), and average kinetic energy would be an integer ...
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How can interstellar space have a temperature of 2-3K?

Several different sources online state that the average temperature of interstellar space (or the universe in general) is around 2-3K. I learned that temperature is basically the wiggling of matter, ...
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37 votes
2 answers
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How loud is the thermal motion of air molecules?

In other words, given a magical room with walls that produce no vibration and transmit zero vibration from the outside, and nothing on the inside except room temperature air, what would be the noise ...
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What temperature is achieved in focus point by 5000 flat 1x1cm mirrors onto a satellite dish?

There is this video ("R5800 Solar Death Ray") where teenager built a 5000 mirror device which concetrates the solar rays which is showing the potency of the mosaic method of concentrating sunlight ...
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4 answers
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Why does the air we blow/exhale out from our mouths change from hot to cold depending on the size of the opening we make with our mouth?

Why does the air we blow/exhale out from our mouths change from hot to cold depending on the size of the opening we make with our mouth? It's not just a subtle difference, but significant in my ...
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26 votes
8 answers
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Why, exactly, does temperature remain constant during a change in state of matter?

My counterargument: Intermolecular forces between molecules are either intact or broken. There is no in-between. Therefore, the change from intact to broken is instantaneous. Applied heat energy ...
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36 votes
18 answers
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Why does the gas get cold when I spray it?

When you spray gas from a compressed spray, the gas gets very cold, even though, the compressed spray is in the room temperature. I think, when it goes from high pressure to lower one, it gets cold, ...
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8 answers
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Is it theoretically possible to reach $0$ Kelvin?

I'm having a discussion with someone. I said that it is -even theoretically- impossible to reach $0$ K, because that would imply that all molecules in the substance would stand perfectly still. He ...
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12 votes
3 answers
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When they say that the universe cooled after the big bang, where did the heat go?

Layman here, Stumbling through some physics stack posts and started reading the Wikipedia for the chronology of the big bang. In it, it states The very earliest universe was so hot, or energetic, ...
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36 votes
4 answers
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If temperature is amount of kinetic energy of particles, then how can there be a cold breeze? [duplicate]

When we put hands on A/C it gives cold winds. These winds have high kinetic energy but low temperature. How ? *don't confuse with A/C being heat pump , just an example, take antarctic blizzards. I can'...
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14 votes
5 answers
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Water in vacuum (or space) and temperature in space

So, water in vacuum will boil first and then freeze. I don't know how the freeze happens. As pressure lowers to zero, what happened to freezing point? (I know heat taken by vapor, and the water cool ...
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6 answers
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Is temperature in vacuum zero?

From Wikipedia entry on Kinetic Theory The temperature of an ideal monatomic gas is a measure of the average kinetic energy of its atoms. Now if I remove all the particles from the box shown ...
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10 votes
6 answers
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What is the effect of an increase in pressure on latent heat of vaporization?

What is latent heat of vaporization ($L_v$) in the first place? Wikipedia seems to indicate that it is the energy used in overcoming intermolecular interactions, without taking into account at all any ...
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1 answer
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Does time freeze at Absolute Zero? [closed]

Time has many definitions per se, but the basic idea being it's "the measurement of change" so as we know, all matter looses it's ability of changing with the loss of kinetic energy. and the where it ...
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3 answers
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How does temperature relate to the kinetic energy of molecules?

In ideal gas model, temperature is the measure of average kinetic energy of the gas molecules. If by some means the gas particles are accelerated to a very high speed in one direction, KE certainly ...
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19 votes
7 answers
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Relativity of temperature paradox

The imagined scenario: Part A: From special relativity we know that velocity is a relative physical quantity, that is, it is dependent on the frame of reference of choice. This means that kinetic ...
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4 answers
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Why is the temperature zero in the ground state?

Consider the following statement: If we know that the system is in the ground state, then the temperature is zero. How does this follow from the statistical definition of temperature?
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1 answer
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Restoration of spontaneously broken symmetry at high energy

It is common to find books saying that above a certain energy, a certain symmetry in particle physics is restored, e.g. the $SU(2)\times U(1)$ electroweak symmetry was unbroken between $10^{-36}$ to $...
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26 votes
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Does hot air really rise?

"Heat rises" or "warm air rises" is a widely used phrase (and widely accepted phenomenon). Does hot air really rise? Or is it simply displaced by colder (denser) air pulled down by gravity?
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8 votes
1 answer
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Why does a breeze of wind make us feel cooler? [duplicate]

In my Astronomy class, I learned that temperature results from the speed of air molecules colliding into your skin. Thus, if the air molecules in the room have a high kinetic energy and thus collide ...
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2 answers
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Does tea stay hotter with the milk in it?

A little thought experiment, similar to this one: Imagine you are making a cup of tea when the door bell rings. You've poured the boiling water into a cup with a teabag in it. As you're just about to ...
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How hot can plasma get?

I remember reading about an experiment where fine rods of tungsten were super-heated with millions of amps of electricity, melting them into ionised gas and were then compressed (by magnetic fields?) ...
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8 votes
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Opening the fridge door to cool a room

I'm well aware that the default answer to this textbook default question is "it doesn't work", but still, I believe it does. To cool the insides of the fridge, the compressor must do work, and since ...
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6 votes
3 answers
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Didn't we mess up with the temperature?

The following passage has been extracted from the book "The Feynman Lectures on Physics-Vol l": The mean kinetic energy is a property only of the "temperature." Being a property of the "...
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2 answers
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What is the difference between thermodynamic and empirical temperature?

When I've studied Thermodynamics I did so in Callen's book and there the author talks about temperature as a single thing, which mathematically is simply defined as: $$T = \dfrac{\partial U}{\partial ...
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Temperature on the surface of the sun calculated with the Stefan-Boltzmann-rule

In a German Wikipedia page, the following calculation for the temperature on the surface of the Sun is made: $\sigma=5.67*10^{-8}\frac{W}{m^2K^4}$ (Stefan-Boltzmann constant) $S = 1367\frac{W}{m^2}$ ...
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5 answers
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Should I heat my room when I'm not here, energy-efficiently speaking?

I was wondering as it's getting cold : is it better for my electricity bill to shut down completely my (electric) heater during day, and to turn it on again when I come home (then it will have to heat ...
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7 votes
3 answers
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Does visible light heat things up?

During a sunny day the walls of my house warm up (no surprise). My question: how much of this warming up (if any) comes from visible light? I associate infrared with thermal energy. If my house was ...
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29 votes
3 answers
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How is temperature defined, and measured?

In questions like this one, temperatures of millions of degrees (Celsius, Kelvin, it doesn't really matter at that point) are mentioned. But, what does it mean exactly? What is measured, and how? As I ...
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12 votes
8 answers
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The temperature of photon and its energy

Do photons have temperature? If not, does it mean that photon lose energy while travelling through space? As the planets farther away from the sun are comparatively cooler than the one that are ...
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