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Background: Normally as matter is drawn to an object due to gravitational forces, the temperature of the object will rise as the kinetic energy of arriving new matter is converted to random thermal energy as the new matter collides with the object.
This and other processes including nuclear fusion may raise the object’s temperature until the object is radiating sufficient energy to reach an overall thermal equilibrium.
What if sufficiently dense objects did not follow the above pattern? If an object is sufficiently dense could it reach a point of critical mass and density?
At this point, the object’s internal gravitational pull might increase to the point where thermal energy is not possible. What if the object experiences contraction forces due to gravitational pull, at a level where the normal thermal forces that cause particle motion (and the resulting limitation on density) are overwhelmed? Could the particles within the object’s core become so compressed that thermal motion is no longer possible?
If so, where does the energy go?
Your reply: Gravitational potential energy. Think about it. What's happening here? The gravitational force is increasing which means that there is now greater gravitational potential of the particles and that means that the particles can't oscillate to as large an extent as they used to be able to.
Quote from: cmoremanYour reply: Gravitational potential energy. Think about it. What's happening here? The gravitational force is increasing which means that there is now greater gravitational potential of the particles and that means that the particles can't oscillate to as large an extent as they used to be able to.Yes. I thought about it. Now you need to as well. This isn't as simple as you thought since there is an increasing gravitational field and you have to think about where the energy came from to increase that field. Understand?
Thanks PmbPhy, I'm thinking through what you said. I'm just not sure I understand what process would convert thermal energy into increased gravitational field. The only process I can think of that could accomplish this would be a process that converts this energy into increased mass. Increased mass would then cause an increased gravitational field. That brings me back to wondering if E=MC² would work in "reverse" (endothermic nuclear reaction) to convert energy into mass...