MadSci Network: Astronomy

Subject: Relativistic velocities of electrons and the formation of Neutron stars

Date: Fri Jan 9 09:52:28 2004
Posted by Frank
Grade level: nonaligned School: No school entered.
City: No city entered. State/Province: No state entered. Country: No country entered.
Area of science: Astronomy
ID: 1073663548.As

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 

Re: Relativistic velocities of electrons and the formation of Neutron stars

Current Queue | Current Queue for Astronomy | Astronomy archives

Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on Astronomy.

MadSci Home | Information | Search | Random Knowledge Generator | MadSci Archives | Mad Library | MAD Labs | MAD FAQs | Ask a ? | Join Us! | Help Support MadSci

MadSci Network,
© 1995-2003. All rights reserved.