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Originally posted by mobiusmale
reply to post by Maxmars
Well, I guess I am missing a few physics marbles here...but how in the heck can a "cloud" that has a density of less than the best vacuum we can create on earth, have an on-going temperature of over 1 million degrees Kelvin?
On the microscopic scale, temperature can be defined as the average energy in each degree of freedom in the particles in a system. Because temperature is a statistical property, a system must contain a few particles for the question as to its temperature to make any sense. For a solid, this energy is found in the vibrations of its atoms about their equilibrium positions. In an ideal monatomic gas, energy is found in the translational motions of the particles; with molecular gases, vibrational and rotational motions also provide thermodynamic degrees of freedom.