Tag Archives: physics

Books to Read: Warped Passages

My sister was reading “Vogue”:http://www.style.com/vogue/ the other day and happened upon an article about Professor “Lisa Randall”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lisa_Randall. Not only is she a triple tenured professor at “Princeton”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Princeton_University, “MIT”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MIT, and “Harvard”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvard, a leading expert on “particle physics”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Particle_physics, “string theory”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/String_theory, and “cosmology”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmology, in “Time’s 100 Scientists and Thinkers”:http://www.time.com/time/specials/2007/time100/article/0,28804,1595326_1595329_1615997,00.html for 2007, and author of “Warped Passages”:http://www.amazon.com/Warped-Passages-Unraveling-Mysteries-Dimensions/dp/0060531096/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1199318101&sr=8-1, she’s pretty good lookin’, too. I’ve been particularly interested in higher dimensions for quite a while. In addition to Warped Passages, which I just started, I suggest reading “The Fourth Dimension”:http://www.amazon.com/4th-Dimension-Toward-Geometry-Reality/dp/0395344204/ref=sr_1_21?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1199318341&sr=8-21, which is another great read.

How hot CAN the universe get?

Ever since learning about absolute zero (the temperature at which no heat remains in a substance), I always was curious as to whether there was an analogue on the toasty end of the spectrum. Is there a limit to how hot a temperature can exist? I never had a physics teacher who could answer that question, but the internet today “has done it”:http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a3_347.html:

“The highest possible temperature, called the Planck temperature, is equal to 10^32 degrees Kelvin. For comparison, the center of the sun bubbles along at 15 million degrees K (15 x 10^6); silicon can be created by fusion at 1 billion K (10^9).”

Thanks to “The Straight Dope”:http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a3_347.html for finally answering this question that has bothered me for years!