# 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 my hand not burned by the air in an oven at 200°C?

I have this problem from University Physics with Modern Physics (13th Edition): The inside of an oven is at a temperature of 200°C (392°F). You can put your hand in the oven without injury as long ...
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### Why do spaceships heat up when entering earth but not when exiting?

Recently I read up on spacecrafts entering earth using a heat shield. However, when exiting the Earth's atmosphere, it does not heat up, so it does not need a heat shield at that point of time yet. ...
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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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### Would a pin head heated to 15 million degrees Celsius kill everyone in a 1000 mile radius?

The YouTube video How Hot Can it Get? contains, at the 2:33 mark, the following claim: A pin head heated to 15 million degrees will kill everyone in a 1000 miles radius. On what basis can this ...
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### Why don't miners get boiled to death at $4$ km deep?

The Mponeng Gold Mine is nearly $4$ km deep. It has the largest elevators in the world and is considered one of the most dangerous mines in the world. The geothermal gradient is $25$ degrees Celsius ...
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### Why does hot water clean better than cold water?

I had a left over coffee cup this morning, and I tried to wash it out. I realized I always instinctively use hot water to clean things, as it seems to work better. A Google search showed that other ...
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### Why does water stop boiling immediately after turning off the heat?

When I am heating water on a gas stove, it begins to boil after some time and bubbles of air can be seen escaping out. However, as soon as I increase the amount of heat in the stove, the rate of ...
104k views

### 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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### Could a candle theoretically melt iron?

The title question is rather illustrative. I suppose the real question would be: Is heat cumulative? Put back into an example: If I have a lit candle right beneath an iron bar, assuming the candle ...
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### What makes cheese so effective at absorbing microwaves?

Whenever I put a meal in the microwave which contains cheese, why does the cheese get hot before the rest of the meal is heated through?
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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 temperature must be limited as well I would assume. Why there is no limits?
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### If I stood next to a piece of metal heated to a million degrees, but in a perfect vacuum, would I feel hot?

A friend of mine told me that if you were to stand beside plate of metal that is millions of degrees hot, inside a 100% vacuum, you would not feel its heat. Is this true? I understand the reasoning ...
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### Why don't you get burned by the wood benches in a sauna?

When you go to the sauna you may sit in a room with 90°C+. If it is a "commercial" sauna it will be on for the whole day. How does it come that when you sit on the wood you don't get burned? I ...
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### How long can you survive 1 million degrees?

I asked my Dad this once when I was about 14, and he said that no matter how short the amount of time you were exposed to such a great temperature, you would surely die. The conversation went ...
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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 ...
8k views

### Will a blanket warm you if you are underwater?

Suppose a man falls into very cold water and gets their foot stuck under a heavy rock. Fortunately, his head is above water and someone is able to call for help. The paramedics want to keep him warm ...
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### How did my candle wax crawl up the sides of the jar?

I have an Ikea candle which has sat on my bookshelf in the sun for >5 years. Aside from an hour or two shortly after I bought the candle, I have not burned the candle regularly (in fact, the wick is ...
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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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### 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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### Why doesn't increasing the temperature of something like wood or paper set them on fire?

Imagine we have paper book. If we put this into a pan and increase its temperature, this book would not catch on fire. If on the other hand the book interacts with this heat source directly, it does ...
8k views

### 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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### 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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### Condensation of Water. Classroom Controversy

In our test there was a question that went like so: Question 4 You have a glass of iced water on an unshaded picnic table and went for a walk for 30 minutes. When you return you noticed the glass ...
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### How does defrosting your freezer save energy?

I've been told I should defrost my freezer to save energy, wiki, here and here for example, but none of the linked sites is a peer-reviewed paper explaining why (the wiki article doesn't even have ...
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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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### Before a once-warm lake starts to freeze, must its temperature be 4°C throughout at some point?

This is a problem I just started puzzling over, and I felt this would be a good forum to check my reasoning. So here are the relevant observations followed by my question: Water achieves its maximum ...
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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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### Is it possible to “cook” pasta at room temperature with low enough pressure?

It is known fact, that boiling point of water decreases by decreasing of pressure. So there is a pressure at which water boils at room temperature. Would it be possible to cook e.g. pasta at room ...
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### How can water evaporate at room temperature? [duplicate]

Boiling point of water is 100 degree Celsius. The temperature at which water in liquid form is converted into gaseous form. Then how it possible for water to evaporate at room temperature?
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### Why is high temperature superconductivity so hard to solve?

The phenomenon of high temperature superconductivity has been known for decades, particularly layered cuprate superconductors. We know the precise lattice structure of the materials. We know the band ...
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### Sun's power density compared to a compost heap

According to Wikipedia the Sun's "power density" is "approximately 276.5 $W/m^3$, a value that more nearly approximates that of reptile metabolism or a compost pile than of a thermonuclear bomb." My ...
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### Is it heat that causes vibrations on particles or is it the vibrations that causes the heat?

I was taught that molecules move more random when its hot. I am just wondering what really is it that causes something to heat up.
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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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### How is it possible that it can get hotter in the car than it is outside?

The Law of Thermodynamics says that two bodies will eventually have equal temperatures. How is it possible that when you leave your car in the sun, it gets hotter in the car than it is outside? Why ...
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### Speed of sound at temperatures below 0 °C

How can the speed of sound be calculated for temperatures below 0 °C (down to -40 °C)? Does the calculation $v=331\ \frac{m}{s} + 0.6 \frac{m}{s°C} \times T$ still hold (where T's unit is °...
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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 does humidity cause a feeling of hotness?

Imagine there are two rooms kept at the same temperature but with different humidity levels. A person is asked to stay in each room for 5 minutes. At the end of experiment if we ask them which room ...
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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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### Why does temperature remain constant when water is boiling?

As I understand it, during boiling the input of heat destroys or re-arranges the hydrogen bonds. It is used, in other words, against the potential energy of the intermolecular bonds. But if some ...
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### Frequency difference when water splashes at different temperatures

When I pour hot water (near boiling) and cold water ($5 \unicode{x2103}$) from a height on a platform, there is a distinct difference in the sound that is generated. I feel that hot water splashing ...
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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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### Does bonfire night in the UK increase temperature of the country / local area?

I am not sure if this is the right forum for the question but failing to have any better location to ask it, i have come here. In the UK we have a tradition of lighting bonfires on the 5th of ...
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### Why does a water drop on a hot plate at 150°C evaporate faster than on a plate at 200°C?

I recently read that: A drop of water landing on a hot plate at 150°C (300°F) evaporates in a few seconds. A drop of water landing on a hot plate at 200°C (400°F) survives a whole minute. How ...
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### What is the definition of temperature, once and for all? [duplicate]

Can someone please explain to me what the formal definition of temperature is? Neither my textbook, nor my professor, nor any of the online sources I've checked are able to give me a proper ...
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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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### Are room temperature superconductors theoretically possible, and through what mechanism?

At the moment, the highest critical temperature superconductor known to science (or myself, at least) is mercury barium calcium copper oxide. With a $T_{c}$ of roughly 133 K, that's well above the ...
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### How do you add temperatures?

This will probably be considered very simple, but I am just a beginner: I'm developing a software application where temperatures need to be added and subtracted. Some temperatures are in Celsius, ...
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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?