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50
votes
9answers
3k views

Do all black holes have a singularity?

If a large star goes supernova, but not enough mass collapses to form a black hole, it often forms a neutron star. My understanding is that this is the densest object that can exist because of the ...
33
votes
6answers
10k views

How come neutrons in a nucleus don't decay?

I know outside a nucleus, neutrons are unstable and they have half life of about 15 minutes. But when they are together with protons inside the nucleus, they are stable. How does that happen? I got ...
23
votes
7answers
6k views

Why do neutrons repel each other?

I can understand why 2 protons will repel each other, because they're both positive. But there isn't a neutral charge is there? So why do neutrons repel? (Do they, or have I been misinformed?) The ...
23
votes
5answers
4k views

Can there be Electron and/or Proton Stars?

What happens to all of the electrons and protons in the material of a neutron star? Could there ever be an electron star or a proton star?
20
votes
3answers
3k views

What stabilizes neutrons against beta decay in a neutron star?

Free neutrons are known to undergo beta decay with a half-life of slightly above 10 minutes. Binding with other nucleons stabilizes the neutrons in an atomic nucleus, but only if the fraction of ...
18
votes
3answers
2k views

Is it possible that all neutron stars are actually pulsars?

I'm assuming that what I've been told is true: We can only detect pulsars if their beams of electromagnetic radiation is directed towards Earth. That pulsars are the same as neutron stars, only that ...
17
votes
1answer
2k views

Turned to steel in the great magnetic field

This is obviously a "fun" question, but I'm sure it still has valid physics in it, so bear with me. How great of a magnetic field would you need to transmute other elements into iron/nickel, if ...
15
votes
4answers
671 views

Are Neutron stars transparent?

Neutrons have no charge so they would not, I think, interact with photons. Would a neutron star be transparent?
15
votes
4answers
3k views

If I shine a bright light on a neutron star, what would it look like?

If there are no orbitting electrons in a neutron star's makeup to interact with EM, what happens to light that strikes it?
15
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the theoretical lower mass limit for a gravitationally stable neutron star?

I ask here intentionally not for the size of the smallest possible observed size of neutron stars, which corresponds approximately to the well-known Chandrasekhar-limit for the upper limit of the ...
14
votes
3answers
723 views

How does the Pauli exclusion principle create a force in degenerate matter?

My understanding is that when it comes to forming a white dwarf, it is the electron degeneracy pressure, due to the Pauli Exclusion Principle, preventing collapse in of the white dwarf. If the ...
14
votes
3answers
880 views

How would neutron matter appear to the naked eye?

Neutron matter is matter comprised entirely of neutrons, as it exists in neutron stars. Most optical phenomena encountered in everyday life, such as light reflection and spectral absorption (i.e. ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

Temperature of a neutron star

In our everyday experience termperature is due to the motion of atoms, molecules, etc. A neutron star, where protons and electrons are fused together to form neutrons, is nothing but a huge nucleus ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Is a neutron star basically an isotope?

Since a neutron star is basically just a vast amount of densely packed neutrons, I was wondering whether those neutrons form a single "atom" (of atomic number zero) or whether they are further apart ...
12
votes
1answer
439 views

Introduction to neutron star physics

I enjoy thinking about theoretical astrophysics because I want to understand black holes. Given that no one understands black holes, I like to ponder the nearest thing to a black hole: a neutron star! ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Black Hole Photon Sphere

The photon sphere is a spherical region in space where photons are forced to travel in an orbit at $r = \frac{3GM}{c^{2}}$. Is it possible to detect these spheres? What happens if I fall through ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

What happens to Protons and Electrons when a Neutron star forms?

What happens to Protons and Electrons when a Neutron star forms? At some point gravity overcomes the Pauli Exclusion Principle ( I assume) and they are all forced together. What happens in the ...
10
votes
2answers
434 views

Stellar winds from neutron stars

It seems that this question has not really been explored in the literature. Do isolated neutron stars (which do not accrete material) emit stellar wind? If yes, what composition would it have? If yes, ...
10
votes
0answers
63 views

What allows the modified Urca process to work at lower density than direct Urca in neutron star cooling? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What allows the modified Urca process to work at lower density than direct Urca in neutron star cooling? This comes from an unanswered question over at physics.se: The ...
9
votes
4answers
3k views

How do neutron stars burn? Is it decay or fusion or something else?

What makes a neutron star burn, and what kind of fusion/decay is happening there? What is supposed to happen with a neutron star in the long run? What if it cools, then what do the degenerated matter ...
9
votes
4answers
853 views

Do neutron stars reflect light?

The setup is very simple: you have a regular ($1.35$ to $2$ solar masses) evolved neutron star, and you shine plane electromagnetic waves on it with given $\lambda$. Very roughly, what shall be the ...
9
votes
1answer
3k views

What happens to atoms inside a black hole?

Black holes have very high gravitational force that tends to crush everything. So as we know atoms in a molecule have inter-atomic spacing between them and further electrons also revolve at a certain ...
9
votes
1answer
213 views

Are the neutrons in a neutron star on orbitals as in atomic nuclei?

Does the internal structure of a neutron star resemble anything like that of an atomic nucleus? I.e., are the neutrons arranged in a shell like structure with different energy levels, and without a ...
9
votes
1answer
224 views

Will a black hole eventually turn into a neutron star?

As far as i understand, black holes radiate away energy in form of Hawking Radiation. Thus, they lose mass, i suppose. Is there a point where the mass becomes too small for the object to still be a ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

What would happen to a teaspoon of neutron star material if released on Earth?

I've read on NASA's page on neutron star that one teaspoonful of that star would weigh over 20 billion tonnes on Earth. If it was somehow possible to bring it to earth would it: Burn and disappear ...
8
votes
3answers
499 views

Neutron stars and black holes

The official limits for a neutron star is $1.4 - 3.2\;M_\odot$. But I read that the limit depends on the particular structure of a star to estimate which mass it must have. I also read that neutron ...
8
votes
3answers
773 views

What allows the modified Urca process to work at lower density than direct Urca in neutron star cooling?

The dominant method of neutron star cooling is neutrino emission. There are two regimes usually presented, the "direct Urca" and "modified Urca" processes, each of which are sequences of neutron decay ...
8
votes
2answers
224 views

What causes millisecond pulsars to speed up?

Millisecond pulsars are supposed to be old neutron stars. However, they are spinning even more rapidly than newly formed pulsars. Since pulsars slow down as they age, something must have caused ...
8
votes
1answer
68 views

Could we tell the difference between population I and II (or even III) neutron stars?

This question is related to thoughts I was having about the mass-radius relationship for neutron stars. Is it unique? Is there a single relationship between $P$ and $\rho$ or is there any chance that ...
7
votes
3answers
6k views

Is it possible that black holes are also neutron stars, but so dark that we cannot see them?

Since the concept of the singularity in a black hole leads to infinite densities, I wonder if it is really certain that black holes exist? Is there a possibility that massive objects (which are ...
7
votes
1answer
75 views

Do neutron stars emit stellar flares?

Since stellar flares are formed from the magnetic energy of a star, is it probable to assume that neutron stars can emit stellar flares as well? If so, how would the super fluid material of the star ...
6
votes
1answer
128 views

Could a neutron star be active, fusioning neutrons into something more dense and releasing constant power?

Could a neutron star be a bit like our Sun or any other star? Just to have a different scale: A neutron star fusioning not hydrogen and other elements but neutrons and quarks in its core at a ...
6
votes
1answer
115 views

What is baryon loading in the context of gamma ray bursts (GRBs)?

I've read that with short hard gamma ray bursts (shGRBs) associated with the coalescence of NS-NS and NS-BH binaries are expected to be beamed along the axis of the orbital angular momentum (i.e. ...
6
votes
1answer
231 views

Upper Mass Limit of Quark Stars

While there is no confirmation that quark stars exist, is there any theoretical limit analogous to (but different from) the Tolman–Oppenheimer–Volkoff limit for neutron stars? In other words, what is ...
6
votes
2answers
125 views

Do the magnetic moments of neutrons mutually align to produce the magnetic field and emission beams of a pulsar and/or magnetar?

In this graphic of a pulsar the emission beams are at the north and south poles of the neutron star's magnetic field. I've read that the Earth's magnetic field is produced by a dynamo effect, whereby ...
5
votes
2answers
272 views

What is a magnetised neutron star?

I heard the term the other day, but it seems strange to me. My understanding is that neutron stars are made up of neutrons; and neutrons (having no charge) shouldn't be magnetised.
4
votes
3answers
523 views

Can a neutron star compress until it's converted to a black hole?

The Universe's densest objects are black holes. In the second place, there are neutron stars. So, if a neutron star compresses to its Schwarzschild radius, would it appear as a black hole? That black ...
4
votes
4answers
3k views

Why do white dwarfs shine white?

The hotter something is glowing the more white/blue it appears. A dying medium sized star expands, cools and becomes a red giant for a while, but eventually it is going to gravitationally collapse ...
4
votes
1answer
88 views

Gravitational waves from neutron star - neutron star merger

How is neutron star-neutron star merger different from Black Hole-Black Hole merger and what information can be extracted from gravitational waves emitted by these processes?
4
votes
3answers
529 views

What is the binding energy of a neutron star?

Neutrons which constitute a neutron star have a rest mass that is greater when separated from the star because they are bound with a certain potential energy. This potential energy causes the system ...
4
votes
1answer
3k views

What is the pressure at the center of the Earth? (Or a neutron star)

The center of the Earth has microgravity and is thought to be solid and almost 6000 degrees hot. What is the pressure like there? The confusing thing, for the common man I suppose, is that there's no ...
4
votes
2answers
420 views

What is the temperature of the surface and core of a neutron star formed 12 billion years ago now equal to?

In what part of the spectrum is it radiating? In the infrared, in the microwave? Or is not radiating anymore at all? In russian: Чему сейчас равна температура поверхности и ядра нейтронной звезды, ...
4
votes
1answer
145 views

Why do neutron stars have solid crusts?

A long time ago I read that neutron stars have a solid crusts that are several orders of magnitude harder/stronger than alloys here on the Earth. So how is this possible ? A neutron star has a ...
4
votes
2answers
255 views

Is Brian Cox right to claim that Gravity is a strong force for large masses, is it wrong, or is it only a matter of interpretation?

I watched a program of his in which it was claimed that since mass bends space in accordance to General Relativity, then in the case of very large stars it becomes a strong force to the point of being ...
3
votes
2answers
381 views

Are there any known neutron stars just below the Tolman–Oppenheimer–Volkoff limit?

Do we know any neutron stars just below the Tolman–Oppenheimer–Volkoff limit? And how are they different from most other neutron stars?
3
votes
2answers
178 views

Smolin on Cosmological selection and neutron stars

Regarding the cosmological selection hypothesis and testable predictions, Lee Smolin asserted the following: "Smolin: I did make two predictions which were eminently checkable by astrophysical ...
3
votes
1answer
276 views

What is the difference between baryonic and gravitational mass?

I was reading a webpage on neutron stars, and it mentioned that a neutron star's gravitational mass is about 20% lower than its baryonic mass due to gravitational redshift. I understand the basics of ...
3
votes
3answers
281 views

Magnetic Pole Emission from Pulsars

I've been reading up on some pulsar emission theory (admittedly written in the 70's and 80's, but I figured that's a good place to start), namely this review by Curtis Michel as well as the book Black ...
3
votes
1answer
917 views

Collision between Neutron stars and Black holes

When two neutron stars or black-holes come closer and closer, their angular velocity increases with decrease of distance and they start to revolve around a constant center with high relativistic ...
3
votes
3answers
142 views

Neutron star references?

I'm looking for contemporary reviews on neutron stars. Seems like this area is pretty active, so even reviews from five or ten years ago are somewhat lacking, though certainly not worthless. Does ...