Extreme Nature Spells – When Scientists’ Kids Fight

Quark soup

Thanks to their tireless search for the ultimate things in life (that is, the constant bombardment with questions like ‘What’s the smallest thing you know of in the whole world?’ and ‘What is the hottest thing you know?’) kids are little information sponges.

This spontaneous exchange between our 5 and 3 year olds sure made their physicist daddy (and biologist mommy) proud.

Fire

Typical temperature of flames is given as anywhere between 1,000 °C (1,800 °F – for a candle) and a couple of thousand degrees (for blow torches and burning fuels) according to Wikipedia. Blasting your enemies with fire should do the trick. Unless they hit you with…

Lava

Well, while it isn’t actually hotter than many flames (around 1,000 °C), but let’s face it, a flood of lava would be a darn impressive thing to encounter, and it conjures the nature documentary-esque scene of fields of rolling, glowing rock. More bad-ass, for sure.

Plasma

Now we’re talking! A stuff so special it isn’t even much found on earth, you only hear of it when daddy and mommy explain stuff like what the sun is made of. It’s a state of matter so energetic that electrons have quit their positions around atoms, found in places like lightning, stars, solar wind, Northern Lights, and high-tech lamps. Plasma temperatures in lightning can approach 28,000 °C (50,000 °F). Bound to be the last word, right? But… no!

Quark soup

Or as it’s officially known, the quark-gluon plasma. The extremely dense, superheated state of matter prevailing fractions of a second after the Big Bang, before protons and neutrons condensed out of the sea of smallest elementary particles known to man. Far out! LiveScience:

At temperatures between 7 trillion and 10 trillion degrees Fahrenheit (4 trillion and 6 trillion degrees Celsius), this “quark-gluon plasma” is the hottest thing ever created on Earth, and is about 100,000 times hotter than the center of the sun.

Game over!

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About Thoughtscapism

Cell Biologist, volunteer science communicator, and fiction writer.
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2 Responses to Extreme Nature Spells – When Scientists’ Kids Fight

  1. Pingback: Trying to Apply Intuition to Physics | Thoughtscapism

  2. Pingback: The Bacterial Cutting Board – What’s Actually Going On In My Stomach? | Thoughtscapism

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