epoch of thermalization
Fr.: époque de thermalisation
The period during the → early Universe before the → recombination era when the photons were hot enough to ionize hydrogen. The density was so high that the interactions between → matter and → radiation were very numerous. Therefore, matter and photons were in constant contact and their → temperatures were the same. As a result, the radiation became → thermalized, i.e. the → electromagnetic spectrum of the radiation became that of a → blackbody, a process called → thermalization. Since the time of recombination the photons of → cosmic background radiation have been free to travel uninhibited by interactions with matter. Thus, their distribution of energy is a perfect → blackbody curve, as predicted by the → Big Bang theory and shown by several observations, such as → Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE), → Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP), and → Planck Satellite.
1) The process by which a system reaches → thermal equilibrium.
Thermalization results from energy exchange between the
components constituting the system and their exchange with the outside medium.
In a gas at a given temperature, molecules move with different velocities.
The gas temperature corresponds to the mean velocity of the molecules, but individual
molecules may deviate largely from the mean velocity. Some move very fast others
slowly and change velocity upon collisions. Collisions reduce the energy of
fast moving molecules and increase that of slow ones.
In the process of thermalization
→ matter and → radiation
are in constant interaction such that their → temperatures
The process goes on until energy distribution reaches
The system is said to be → thermalized.
Verbal noun of → thermalize.