Gloria Jean Gabrielle

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Thermophobic matter?

Do we know anything about a completely thermophobic or lower-heat absorbing matter? Is it possible to invent one? As we know color can affect heat absorption because of emissivity, but can it be the actual matter that wouldn't absorb almost any heat? And can this happen without any light-redirecting surfaces ? If there is one, what is it like ?

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    Dec 4 2013: some clarification on temperature and heat. heat is a form of energy that tends to spread out if you let it. different materials have a different "affinity" to it, so if you let heat distribute on its own, some types of matter takes up more, some less. at the end, we have a final state, an equilibrium, in which no pieces of matter "disagree" with the current state.

    to measure this equilibrium, temperature is invented. temperature is dependent on the heat content and on the heat "affinity" of a material. it is defined in a way that materials of equivalent temperature don't want to exchange heat. it is also defined in a way that the difference of temperatures determine the speed of heat transfer.

    heat "affinity" is called "heat capacity" for a given chunk of matter, or "specific heat capacity" for a given type of matter, specific simply means "per unit weight" or "volumetric heat capacity" if you measure it by volume. this number differs for different materials. for example water has high specific capacity, that is, it needs a great amount of heat to rise its temperature. wood has roughly one third of that. but we don't have wild variations.

    so it is possible to have a chunk of material that heats up slowly when put in higher temperature environment. if you put two blocks of high specific heat capacity material side by side, the temperature will equalize slowly. if you do that with low specific heat capacity materials, they will find the equilibrium fast. there is no, on the other hand, temperature resistant matter. no matter what, temperatures will always equalize given enough time.

    you can use this effect to smooth temperature variations. you can put a huge water tank in your room, and it will cool the room on hot summer days, at the expense of heating it at night. to do that, you need high volumetric heat capacity.
  • Dec 4 2013: I don't think thermodynamics work that way.
    You can do all sorts of temperature regulation with well placed insulation, thermal conductors, and materials that start out cold, but as far as I'm aware, there's no such thing as a material that won't absorb heat.
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    Dec 4 2013: The answer is MAYBE!

    Heat is motion. The faster the molecular structure of a substance moves, the "hotter" it is. This is fully dependent on the amount of energy present. Gasses and liquids absorb energy faster than solids... Thus solids are generally cooler than other less-stable states of matter... and there are MANY.

    In order for a substance to be "thermophobic" it would need to have less than zero energy & remain that way even when energy is introduced. The problem with THAT is that e=mc2 / Matter = Energy. Matter and energy are one in the same.

    It IS possible for a substance to have less than zero energy present... However this is a recently discovered quirk of quantum mechanics & doesn't make logical sense.

    Basically... at the quantum level particles don't have stable energies. Instead they have energy "probabilities." There are times when a particle's probable energy is less than zero. The cumulative effect of this property is a substance whose overall energy is beneath zero kelvin.

    Could such a substance be engineered to reflect heat and become "thermophobic?
    Who knows...
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      Dec 6 2013: Thank you!

      However we the way we think is strictly dependent on what we have ever read/heard.
      How about dropping all the knowledge we got through the years, leave the protons and electrons and neutrons for a very little.
      I like to dream of odd possibilities.
      Think of a world with a completely different structure of "energy". One where coldness and heat are not factors, but for example energy goes differently and the time is a backward vector. It's so hard to imagine it, but still, how about place where energy "burns" with noice, for example? Or where the Hund would say the atom is chasing a minimal multiplicity ?
      God, this would be somewhere where vision is music and colors and shapes are the tones.
      Of course all of this things are unexplorable, but maybe if we give freedom to our fantasies, we might create them somewhere in the universe. :D
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        Dec 6 2013: There has been some speculation on universes with different laws of physics from what we know. Personally... I'm bewildered by the idea!
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    Dec 4 2013: Heat is energy, and energy may be absorbed, reflected, dispersed, stored, and so on, but it can't be destroyed, only transformed; if we want to make it desappear, may be a good topic for researchers to look for a way of doing it.
  • Dec 9 2013: In this universe we observe the fundamental laws of thermodynamics - what exactly they are - changes with understanding.

    So if you want to try and make thermophobic matter, who knows you might just be the right person to succeed.