Consider two particles approaching each other at some relativistic speed. You can ask what is the temperature of that two-particle system of particles.
As the velocity approaches c, the relativistic mass of each particle approaches infinity:
Which means the energy (and temperature) approach infinity. There is no such thing as a maximum theoretical temperature.
Boltzman's constant is k = 8.617 3324 x 10-5 eV K-1, and each lead ion has energy 287 TeV, corresponding to T = 3,300,000 trillion degrees. But this is not a temperature, just an energy divided by k. The temperature of the quark gluon plasma created by the collision is about one millionth of that.
posted on 08/16/2012 3:58:53 PM PDT
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