APS: Neutron-Star Implosions as Heavy-Element Sources

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MargaritaMc
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APS: Neutron-Star Implosions as Heavy-Element Sources

Postby MargaritaMc » Wed Aug 09, 2017 12:04 pm

https://physics.aps.org/articles/v10/89
Viewpoint: Neutron-Star Implosions as Heavy-Element Sources
Hans-Thomas Janka, Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics, Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 1, D-85748 Garching, Germany
August 7, 2017• Physics 10, 89
A dramatic scenario in which a compact black hole eats a spinning neutron star from inside might explain a nearby galaxy’s unexpectedly high abundance of heavy elements.
The lightest of the chemical elements—hydrogen, helium, and lithium—were created in the hot, early phase of the Universe, about a minute after the big bang. Heavier elements were forged later—in the nuclear fires of many generations of stars and during supernova explosions. But the origin of many rare chemical species, particularly the heaviest elements, remains uncertain. In particular, recent observations of a nearby galaxy * enriched with heavy elements challenge traditional nucleosynthesis models. George Fuller of the University of California, San Diego, and colleagues ‡ now propose a novel scenario for the origin of the heaviest elements, including gold, platinum, and uranium. Their hypothesis involves tiny black holes inducing neutron-star implosions and, if viable, would in one [...] swoop offer solutions to other astrophysical riddles beyond heavy element synthesis.

* Reticulum II
https://journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevLett.119.061101
Primordial Black Holes and r -Process Nucleosynthesis
George M. Fuller, Alexander Kusenko, and Volodymyr Takhistov
Phys. Rev. Lett. 119, 061101 – Published 7 August 2017

https://arxiv.org/abs/1704.01129

UC San Diego press release
http://ucsdnews.ucsd.edu/pressrelease/primordial_black_holes_may_have_helped_to_forge_heavy_elements

There is some background to the issue in these two articles
https://www.quantamagazine.org/did-neutron-stars-or-supernovas-forge-the-universes-supply-of-gold-20170323/

http://www.kavlifoundation.org/science-spotlights/cosmic-heavy-metals/
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Ann
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Re: APS: Neutron-Star Implosions as Heavy-Element Sources

Postby Ann » Wed Aug 09, 2017 2:24 pm

That is an absolutely fascinating idea, Margarita! It is radical, too, so we may have to wait for some additional support of it. Nevertheless, it is indeed fascinating!

Ann
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MargaritaMc
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Re: APS: Neutron-Star Implosions as Heavy-Element Sources

Postby MargaritaMc » Wed Aug 09, 2017 6:11 pm

Ann wrote:That is an absolutely fascinating idea, Margarita! It is radical, too, so we may have to wait for some additional support of it. Nevertheless, it is indeed fascinating!

Ann

It is fascinating isn't it? I hesitated about posting it, but thought that it might be of interest. That it was the subject of an APS Physics "viewpoint" (and by a person notable in this field) made me pay close attention.
"In those rare moments of total quiet with a dark sky, I again feel the awe that struck me as a child. The feeling is utterly overwhelming as my mind races out across the stars. I feel peaceful and serene."
— Dr Debra M. Elmegreen, Fellow of the AAAS


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