ILLUMINATION
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ILLUMINATION

Absolute Hot Is Absolutely Weird

Absolute Hot is the maximum temperature possible on any scale of measurement. But it’s a little-discussed topic that needs heed from the scientific community.

Image: Water Hero

Absolute Zero Temperature, a phrase too popular in the academic world. Even people who had some sort of science education in their high schools are familiar with it. What does it mean actually? Temperature is the distribution of kinetic energy amongst atoms, the nanoscale smithereens always moving in hasty. Whenever they scramble from one place to another, their ensemble acquires a temperature. But if all of them come to a standstill, the ensemble temperature becomes nil, absolutely zero, a truly gelid temperature.

But every word has got an antonym, likewise, for zero. Presumably, it’s infinity. Mathematicians may raise concerns about the authenticity of the assignment, but from a linguistic point of view, the antonym is safe to assume. So, have we ever wondered if the ‘Absolute Infinite Temperature’ exists? Maybe a few did but the majority unknowingly overlooked the thought.

Surely yes & dubiously no. Absolute Hot Temperature has been speculated to exist, so yes. Apropos the catchy phrase, it’s not infinity, so also no. This border-line has been predicted by the Newtonian mechanics, the set of theories that govern our macroscopic universe. But once the temperature is raised hypothetically beyond the limit on an ad hoc basis, classical mechanics start to break down. That’s why it’s referred to as the upper threshold limit that’s known as Planck Temperature.

So, how hot is it? Hold on, take a deep breath. Numerically it appears like this: 1.42 * 10³² (or 1.42 decillion), on the ⁰C scale. That’s the compact one. If expanded, that conveys this expression: 1,420,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. This figure can get anyone queasy. Changing the temperature scale doesn’t help much, in both ⁰F & K scale, the insane exponential part (10³²) exists.

This theoretical prediction holds the ground as we scrutinize temperature change after Big Bang when our visible universe was just born. The BBC infographic, published in 2013, elucidates the temperature range, from Absolute Zero to Absolute Hot. The illustrative diagram shows that after 1/10³⁵ second of Big Bang, our universe was a whopping 10²⁷ ⁰C (or 1 octillion) hot dense ball. Nice close shot!

To give an essence of what we’re trying to assimilate, a comparison is necessary. In contrast to that extraordinary heat, the man-made high temperature falls too short. In Large Hadron Collider, located in Switzerland & operated by CERN, temperature up to 5.5 * 10¹² ⁰C (just 5.5 trillion) was recorded by scientists, incidentally.

Wait! If atoms pause, the temperature plunges to zero. But atoms can be accelerated as much as possible, they’re not bound to follow any law or rule. The paradox exists at this point. There is no reasonable explanation of how particles would behave at a hotter temperature than this. Classical physics miserably fails to account for it. This shortcoming can be overcome with Quantum Theory of Gravity, a perfectly intricate hypothesis that’s yet to come into the light.

Absolute Hot Temperature is a byproduct of classical physics calculations. So, it’s not ‘absolute’ in that sense. Trying to confirm its existence with experiments is a deal-breaking job. Universe attained a temperature, still lower than the predicted threshold when it started expanding. Till this moment, the universe is expanding which is apparently a never-ending process. With the expansion, our universe is also cooling down. From 10³² ⁰C temperature, presently universe has got approximately -270.42 ⁰C (or 2.73 K) as average temperature.

Simulating experiments to scale up the heat at such an extraordinary level seems impossible with the current techniques used in science. It may require unimaginably delicate instrumentation or may not be feasible at all. That leaves the science community to rely on theoretical predictions. So, until new complex theories emerge to ridicule the limit & predict a hotter one, let’s stay cozy & relaxed in our rooms, that’s only 25 ⁰C.

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