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QUESTION: Hey, what would happen if a heat source is introduced in an area of nigh absolute zero temperatures. The ground of the area is a mixture of various compounds and elements. The heat source provides a constant and practically unending supply of heat.

My primary interest is concerns what would happen with materials of a usually gaseous nature here on earth.

ANSWER: By "ground" I assume you mean where the heat would go.  In general, they would either boil or sublimate furiously, but what else would happen would depend greatly on the temperature and the amount of heat (you mention unending, but not a rate) you intend to supply, and whether or not the gas mixtures are reactive.  My hand is a massive heat source for liquid nitrogen, but I can quickly dunk it in and out in about 1 second (I've done so just as a demonstration) without any result aside from furious boiling of the liquid.

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QUESTION: Is it possible for a dome or some other form of encasing to naturally form around an area with the details I described earlier(a heat source... introduced in an area of nigh absolute zero temperatures. The ground of the area is a mixture of various compounds and elements. The heat source provides a constant and practically unending supply of heat.) The idea that I've got is that freshly thawed gas might naturally move toward the area where it could transition from gas to liquid and then solid, and perhaps build up a wall of some sort. I don't have any specific rate of heat energy output in mind.

ANSWER: I'm sorry, you're going to have to either re-phrase or explain in more detail.  Preferably with a diagram.

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Diagram of thing.
Diagram of thing.  
QUESTION: Okay.

Hopefully the attached picture will be helpful.

Answer
That was singularly unhelpful.  Let me put it in terms I've experienced, somewhat like what you're describing in a second here (see below).  If you heat up solidified material and vaporize it, it will indeed collect on colder material nearby.  It will *not* collect on the heat source or on areas closer to the heat source than those being vaporized.

For example, for my doctoral dissertation, we used a "cold finger" of liquid nitrogen and we introduced either (for my friend Constantine's dissertation) heavy water or (for mine) heavy ammonia into the vacuum system.  Yes, it condensed into a layer of ice despite being under high vacuum.  At those temperatures, the vapor pressure of the material is reeeeally low.  I'm not sure why you need to combine a heat source with something that resembles the surface of a cryopump, there appears to be no actual purpose to this thought exercise.

What is the purpose of this actual question?

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Dr. Stephen O. Nelson

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I can answer most basic physics questions, physics questions about science fiction and everyday observations of physics, etc. I'm also usually good for science fair advice (I'm the regional science fair director). I do not answer homework problems. I will occasionally point out where a homework solution went wrong, though. I'm usually good at explaining odd observations that seem counterintuitive, energy science, nuclear physics, nuclear astrophysics, and alternative theories of physics are my specialties.

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I was a physics professor at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, research in nuclear technology and nuclear astrophysics. My travelling science show saw over 20,000 students of all ages. I taught physics, nuclear chemistry, radiation safety, vacuum technology, and answer tons of questions as I tour schools encouraging students to consider careers in science. I moved on to a non-academic job with more research just recently.

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Ph. D. from Duke University in physics, research in nuclear astrophysics reactions, gamma-ray astronomy technology, and advanced nuclear reactors.

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