|MadSci Network: Astronomy|
I have a great interest in the lifecycle of stars, most particularly the stages and mass limits that regulate the formation of white dwarfs, neutron stars and then ultimately black holes. In my readings I've always been curious about the explaination of the mass limit between the formation of a white dwarf and neutron star, and how once the mass of the white dwarf reaches a certain solar mass threshold the matter is so compacted and the electrons so drawn toward the nucleus of the atoms that they begin to approach the speed of light. Would this not also increase the apparent mass of the electron? Is this what necessitates the further collapse into a neutron star? Once the electrons begin to travel at relativistic speeds what is actually happening in the atom? Does the time dilation suddenly interfere with the relationship between the protons in the nucleus and the electrons? I've read that the gravity and collapse is so intense that the electrons are forced into the protons and create energy and neutrons. Is this correct? Thanks for any answers you can supply.
Re: Relativistic velocities of electrons and the formation of Neutron stars
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