Two teams of scientists may have found a way to discover where the stars, planets and even the composing elements came from.
Although physicists have long known that the lightest elements in the universe are created by the nuclear process inside stars, and that they spread out in the galaxy when these stars move to supernovae at the end of their lives, the origin of the heavier elements remained a mystery. Is.
These nuclear fusion processes are only suitable for understanding the creation of elements as heavy as iron.
During 2021 Fall Meeting of APS Division of Nuclear Physics., Taking place from October 10 to 14, two separate teams of researchers aim to unveil a new measurement that could explain the origin of half the elements of the universe.
When Carl Sagan said, “The universe is within us. We are made of stars. We are a way for the universe to know itself.” Words were not used.
Every element that makes up our bodies is produced in nuclear reactors that are stars, light elements such as hydrogen and helium carbon are found in our cells, the oxygen we breathe and the calcium in our teeth.
When these stars ran out of fuel, their lives were largely ended by supernovae that spread these elements into their galaxies and vast universes.
As a result, a carbon atom at the tip of your finger, and one of your noses could no longer be separated by more than a foot or two, but they could once meet billions of light-years apart. The aspects of the universe will come together, just once, to form the sum of the atoms that you are.
Although each subsequent generation of stars is made up of materials made by its predecessors in the nuclear process, thus consisting of heavier and heavier elements, there is a limit to the atomic mass of an element that makes the star’s normal atomic process. can.
Stars can combine enough light elements to make iron. This means that, as yet, we are not sure how elements heavier than iron are made. These are about half the elements of the periodic table.
A theory suggests elements. Heavy in the form of iron when atoms bombard with fast moving neutrons.Neutral particles are usually found inside the nucleus with positively charged protons. The atom absorbs these neutrons, changing the number of protons in it into a heavier element.
For this heavy element synthesis mechanism called r-process, there must be an environment in which extra neutrons are present, moving at incredible speeds.
that’s why NASA Carnegie Observatory researcher Erica Holmbeck’s Hubble Fellow, and her team’s Inquiry List focuses on remnants of stars that have lagged behind the gravitational collapse of stars that have depleted their fuel, neutron stars.
Things that take their name from the excess of free neutrons in the dense matter that make up their core.
“There is the deepest form of luminous matter in the universe. Neutron starsThe last obstacle in the life of some stars is much wider than the sun, Holmbek said.
This team used. Neutron Star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER) ride on International Space Station To study the remnants of these stars and the abundance of the heavy element of other stars.
The abundance of neutrons shows that the core of n.Uteran stars May be the ideal place for neutron capture, or r-process. The production of heavy element through R process can be especially preferred. In situations where binary neutron stars revolve and merge together.
Bringing the probe to the ground, lab-based researchers explored the arrangement of atoms called isomers. When atoms are stacked and arranged in different ways, it can give an element a different property.
An example of this is diamond and graphene, both of which are made of carbon, but have different isomers, giving them different shapes and very different properties.
The team focused on a type of isomer called an “ostomer” – an arrangement of atoms that can last exceptionally long in the warmest regions of space. The team believed that these astronomical objects could react differently to the normal arrangement of nuclear nuclei, such as those found here on Earth, and could play a key role. R process.
Despite taking very different approaches to the problem of heavy element synthesis and r-process, the laboratory team and the group that used the astronomical observations found a reasonable agreement between their results.
In fact, the combined results of the two studies may have provided astronomers with a new state of equation to explain what is happening below the surface of neutron stars.
“While this approach is radically different from other approaches, we are surprisingly in agreement with both NICER measurements and theoretical calculations about the structure of these extraterrestrial stars.” “The results simultaneously reveal the true nature of the heaviest elements found in our solar system.”