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Neutrons are only "ejected" if the nucleus is excited. One way to eject a neutron is by simply bumping them off. You could bombard nuclei with energetic particles that could transfer enough momentum to an individual neutron to dislodge it. So the "energy" used here comes from the momentum transfer. However, there's also "spontaneous" neutron emission. ...


Yes, there are theoretical models of stellar evolution that tell us what to expect. Broadly, we expect that stars with an initial mass less than 8 solar masses ($8M_{\odot}$) will end their lives as white dwarfs. So I think there is a misconception in your question - the progenitors of white dwarfs and neutron stars are usually a lot more massive than what ...

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