Relativistic temperature gradients



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Recording Details

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PIRSA Number: 
18080001

Abstract

Despite being broadly accepted nowadays, temperature gradients in thermal equilibrium states continue to cause confusion, since they naively seem to contradict the laws of classical thermodynamics. In this talk, we will explore the physical meaning behind this concept, specifically discussing the role played by the university of free fall. We will show that temperature, just like time, is an observer dependent quantity and discuss why gravity is the only force capable of causing equilibrium thermal gradients without violating any of the laws of thermodynamics. We will also demonstrate that significant care and delicacy are necessary when extending Tolman's results to distinct classes of heat baths in stationary spacetimes.