Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Completely Random Thought of the Day...

Someone was having a conversation with me recently and brought up temperatures at which stuff is frozen. Of course, the conversation went downhill from there. However, I did get to thinking about zero kelvin...the point at which all molecules completely freeze. Unfortunately, my idea is impossible because no one has ever attained zero kelvin yet (we've come close, but not close enough for this idea to work).

Here's the rhetorical idea of the day: Take a person or animal or other living thing. What would happen if every molecule of that entity were instantly frozen to zero kelvin, left alone for two years, and then every molecule instantly restored to the temperature it was at before being frozen? In order for such an experiment to work, we would need zero kelvin cold storage AND the ability to immediately alter molecules on an immediate basis AND a couple volunteers.

This, of course, would have huge implications if it worked - this freezing/restoring process could perfectly preserve humans for, say, NASA who might want to send a manned shuttle to really far away places like Pluto. I dunno, just an idea that popped into my head. More than likely the people would die shortly after the flash thaw since the soul would have left the body. We could send monkeys. Or goats. Goats are cute.

3 comments:

  1. I would think that the bigger problem would be tissue damage due to freezing. Crystallization and all that jazz. Can't be healthy.

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  2. But I was talking about _INSTANT_ freezing and thawing from zero kelvin to 98.6F. There would be no time for tissue damage to occur. Tissue damage occurs because of changes in temperature. If every molecule and atom just stopped moving (absolute zero) _instantaneously_ there would be zero tissue damage as long as you could recover _instantaneously_ the original temperature of each molecule. The key here is instant and drastic changes on a molecular level.

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  3. Tissue damage would still occur because the interatomic and intermolecular forces don't just disappear. As you freeze something they will continue to output stored energy until there is none left, at which point you can finally in theory reach zero Kelvin. Therefore an instantaneous freezing would involve an infinite power output from the creature subjected to the process in a span of no time. Divergence! 8^)

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