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Author Topic: Is it possible there is a new element hidden inside a Neutro  (Read 875 times)

Offline thedoc

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Is it possible there is a new element hidden inside a Neutron star,as the laws of gravity dictate that the bigger the object the more gravity it has using all the known elements? However, a Neutron star has a gravity a million times more than Earth and is no more than twenty miles across. I realize conventional theory says Neutron stars are extremely compact because the space inside an atom is mostly made from space an it is that what is compressed. But under that sort of compression you would get an explosion like that of a supernova (the thing that caused it). Do you think it is a least theoretically possible?

You reason you do not see this element throughout the universe could be that it has such a strong magnetic pull it it not scattered throughout the universe but only found sticking together in a Neutron stars. When you think about it, tremendous heat is required to form new elements i.e Supernova. Bingo that's what forms Neutron stars!
Asked by Paul


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« Last Edit: 05/10/2016 09:13:54 by _system »


 

Offline evan_au

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Quote from: Paul
conventional theory says Neutron stars are extremely compact because the space inside an atom is mostly made from space an it is that what is compressed
The nucleus of an atoms has the protons and neutrons so close they are effectively touching.
In a neutrons star, all the neutrons, and any residual protons present are almost close enough to touch (it is the residual electrons that stop it from collapsing further, into a black hole).
So in one sense, the bulk of a neutron star could almost be considered as one massive nucleus, with a ridiculously high atomic mass.

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this element ... has such a strong magnetic pull
Magnetic fields from an atom can be produced by unpaired electrons, or unpaired nucleons (protons or neutrons).
A single atom does not usually produce an enormously large magnetic field from all the electrons being aligned, because:
- In a neutron star (or an ordinary star), many of the electrons are stripped off the atom.
- The Pauli exclusion principle ensures that electrons can't have the same spin in the same orbit
-  it becomes energetically favorable for electrons to flip their spin (canceling the magnetic field), and move into a lower energy state
- Similar logic applies to the spins of nucleons - in a sense, nucleons often form in stable subgroups inside the nucleus with two protons and two neutrons with zero net spin; we often see these groups spat out from radioactive elements as an alpha particle.

It is thought that when a neutron star forms, the magnetic field of the star is compressed into an extremely small volume, and "frozen in" (but at an extremely high temperature). This can produce enormously strong magnetic fields at the surface.

See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutron_star#Giant_nucleus
 
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Offline PmbPhy

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Quote from: Paul
Is it possible there is a new element hidden inside a Neutron star,as the laws of gravity dictate that the bigger the object the more gravity it has using all the known elements?
No. It's not possible. There are no atoms at all inside a neutron star, only neutrons. Any atom (i.e. element) that gets absorbed by a neutron star becomes part of the neutron star as its electrons and protons combine into neutrons and those neutrons become part of the neutron start. As Evan explained, a neutron star is just a massive nucleus consisting of neutrons only. No atom can exist inside a neutron star.

Quote from: Paul
But under that sort of compression you would get an explosion like that of a supernova (the thing that caused it).
Its unclear to me where you got that notion from. A neutron star cannot go supernova. The compression of the star doesn't mean that you'd get such an explosion. The strong force is much greater than the gravitational force and both forces hold a neutron star together.

Quote from: Paul
Do you think it is a least theoretically possible?
Absolutely not.
 

Offline Atomic-S

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No. It's not possible. There are no atoms at all inside a neutron star, only neutrons. Any atom (i.e. element) that gets absorbed by a neutron star becomes part of the neutron star as its electrons and protons combine into neutrons and those neutrons become part of the neutron start. As Evan explained, a neutron star is just a massive nucleus consisting of neutrons only. No atom can exist inside a neutron star.
That is not in agreement with https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutron_star#/media/File:Neutron_star_cross_section.svg in which the existence of identifiable atomic nuclei is indicated as an expected phenomenon.  The extreme pressure, it appears, permits the continuance of species that on Earth would quickly decay, suggesting that elements heavier than those yet identified on Earth may occur.
 

Offline Atomic-S

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You reason you do not see this element throughout the universe could be that it has such a strong magnetic pull it it not scattered throughout the universe but only found sticking together in a Neutron stars.
The force that would allow such elements to form would be gravitational, not magnetic.
 

Offline PmbPhy

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No. It's not possible. There are no atoms at all inside a neutron star, only neutrons. Any atom (i.e. element) that gets absorbed by a neutron star becomes part of the neutron star as its electrons and protons combine into neutrons and those neutrons become part of the neutron start. As Evan explained, a neutron star is just a massive nucleus consisting of neutrons only. No atom can exist inside a neutron star.
That is not in agreement with https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutron_star#/media/File:Neutron_star_cross_section.svg in which the existence of identifiable atomic nuclei is indicated as an expected phenomenon.  The extreme pressure, it appears, permits the continuance of species that on Earth would quickly decay, suggesting that elements heavier than those yet identified on Earth may occur.
To be precise, you're correct. But that's on the surface of the neutron star and I was referring to matter "inside a neutron star."
 

Offline chris

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Why is a neutron star made only of neutrons, and how did that happen?
 

Offline evan_au

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Quote from: Chris
Why is a neutron star made only of neutrons, and how did that happen?
Neutron stars are formed in supernova explosions.
- The immense pressures of the gravitational collapse of a star forces protons and electrons together, forming neutrons, and emitting neutrinos.
- The neutrinos deposit enough energy in the dense infalling matter to blow away the outer layers of the star, which produces the flash we see as a supernova.

There are still a few electrons and protons (and heavier nuclei) floating around in a neutron star, especially in the outer layers where the pressures are lower (but still astronomical!).

See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutron_star#Formation

...And now we have neutrino telescopes, we should be able to detect future supernovas in our galaxy (provided the star doesn't collapse directly to a black hole before the neutrinos are emitted - a "dark supernova").
 

Offline chris

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Thank you; so why is the gravitational collapse more powerful than the gravity of the host star to start with? Is it the unopposed collapse that is occurring secondary to the fall-in of the core that means that the particles develop significant momentum as they accelerate inwards?
 

Offline evan_au

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There are many types of supernova; the ones that form neutron stars and black holes are called "core collapse" supernovas, where the center of the star can no longer hold back the immense pressure of the overlying gas, and the whole star collapses inwards at enormous velocity.

Quote from: chris
why is the gravitational collapse more powerful than the gravity of the host star to start with?
There are a number of forces at the center of a star that can hold back the gravitational attraction of the star - the simplest being pressure caused by the high temperatures at the center of the star.
- to hold back the weight of a large star, the core must remain very hot.
- When a large star has burnt all the hydrogen in its core to iron, it can no longer generate heat by fusion (iron being the most stable element)
- The core starts to cool down, and the star shrinks
- the force of gravitational attraction increases (because the star's mass is now much closer together)
- Under sufficient pressure, iron fusion begins - but rather than releasing energy, it absorbs energy
- This cools the core, causing it to collapse even faster
- This runaway collapse can halt when the protons and electrons are crushed into neutrons (releasing neutrinos) - or it may proceed all the way to a black hole.   

For some other scenarios, see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supernova#Core_collapse
 
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