A temperature below absolute zero: Atoms at negative absolute temperature are the hottest systems in the world
Here we go again, another great article to think about. For those who forgot, absolute zero is -273 C or zero Kalvin. At that temperature all molecular activity ceases. Said another way, the total energy is at the lowest level. Total energy is the sum of potential and kinetic.
A funny thing occurs at the colder temperature. Per something called the Boltzman distribution. Every temperature is made up of molecules at many energy levels. As they are heated the distribution between high and higher increases and theoretically at the highest possible temperature there would be an even distribution of high and higher energy molecules.
At a certain point the definition of temperature fails and as more energy is added, the density of highest energy molecules increases. But the type of energy that increases is the potential energy. Using a variation of the classic definition of temperature implies that molecules at this state are at the ‘highest’ possible temperature. So the disconnect is once you go below absolute zero, you reach the absolute highest temperature?
From a practical perspective what does this mean to us? No much, except that someday we might have an internal combustion engine that is greater than 100% efficient. Calm down, we’re not creating anything, we just need to re-define some terms or at least make the definitions more encompassing.
Another funny result is, molecules at these temperatures attract each other but they are stable in that attraction. Said another way, they have a ‘negative’ attraction.
From an astrological perspective, material at these temperatures perform in many ways like dark matter. Perhaps a better understanding of temperature will yield a definition that answers why galaxies are accelerating in their movement away from each other.
To me, it seems that a pattern of discovery is emerging. I’ve had other posts about multi-verses, faster that light (FTL) travel, and quantum mechanics. To me (a dumb engineer) there seems to be some amazing potential for discovery as we begin fitting these tiny pieces of the puzzle together. I’ve got another post on this subject coming out in a day or two.
Ray Jay Perreault