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Author Topic: How does the explosion of a supernova differ to the big bang?  (Read 4449 times)

Lou Emma

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Lou Emma asked the Naked Scientists:
   
I would love to know how the explosion of a supernova differs to that of the big bang.

Lou
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What do you think?
« Last Edit: 06/02/2011 16:30:04 by _system »


 

Offline graham.d

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How does the explosion of a supernova differ to the big bang?
« Reply #1 on: 06/02/2011 18:49:52 »
A supernova results from a massive star collapsing as a result of the radiation force not being sufficient to counteract the effects of gravity. There are variations on this mechanism leading to different types of supernovae. As a result of this a huge amount of energy is released in a very short time and this ejects much of the star's mass as well as a large amount of radiation. The resulting mass forms a neutron star and maybe be seen as a Pulsar or maybe a black hole. These mechanisms are quite well understood (by the standards of cosmological research) and can be modelled with our current understanding of physics.

The "big bang" is not the same mechanism and is not at all understood by physics as it currently stands, although there are some theories. Modelling the universe in its early stages is very difficult, usually involving trying to work back from what we see today and how this observed universe may have come about. The "big bang" is really a popular but extensively used misnomer. There was certainly a stage of rapid inflation but it is now not thought that this inflation simply resulted from one giant explosion. Is any case, inflation a dense phase of the universe almost certainy involves concepts of quantum gravity, which is not yet understood, and is not really very directly related to supernovae.   
 

Offline syhprum

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How does the explosion of a supernova differ to the big bang?
« Reply #2 on: 06/02/2011 21:38:44 »
I believe the initial expansion of the universe started from the expansion of matter compressed to the Planck density (5.1*10^96 Kg/m^3) that is vastly greater than the density of matter within a star that turns into a supernova.
 

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How does the explosion of a supernova differ to the big bang?
« Reply #2 on: 06/02/2011 21:38:44 »

 

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