How cold can it get on Earth? How hot can hot truly get? And, perhaps more importantly, what’s the ideal temperature a hazelnut souffle should be cooked at? All is revealed by in this awesome infographic by BBC Future.
Most people are pretty familiar with absolute zero, it’s -273.15 degrees Celsius, and it’s the lowest possible temperature that can ever be achieved, according to the laws of physics as we know them. This is because it’s the coldest an entity can get when every single skerrick of heat energy has been sucked right out of it. Even the coldest known place in the Universe – the creepy-looking Boomerang Nebula – isn’t as cold as absolute zero.
But what about ‘absolute hot’? It’s the highest attainable temperature of matter. Contemporary models of physical cosmology postulate that the highest possible temperature is the Planck temperature, which has the value 1.416785(71)×1032 kelvin. Which, of course, is ridiculous. The only thing that we know of that’s ever come close to absolute hot is the temperature of the Universe, at 104 seconds old.