Researchers reveal new understanding of the properties of the protons and neutrons at the heart of stars and galaxies
A new study by physicists at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics (MPI) and the Max-Planck Institute of Nuclear Physics (MPINP) in Dresden, Germany, has shed new light on the nature of protons, neutrons and electrons, which play crucial roles in the creation of stars, galaxies and planets.
The researchers, led by Markus B. Kastelmann of the Max School of Physics and the University of Dresden, have identified the two main types of proton and neutron, the electron and the proton, as being key players in the formation of stars.
This is the first time that researchers have been able to understand how these three elements interact to make stars, which in turn, affect how planets form.
“The protons are so important to star formation, we want to understand their properties to understand why these stars form,” said Kastelsmann.
“This study gives us the key to understanding the structure of stars,” added co-author Wolfgang Hecht of the University College London, UK.
“Our results show that protons have a strong influence on how stars form, which is important for understanding the formation process,” said Professor Matthias Zwiers, of the Helmholtz Centre for Gravitational Physics in Germany.
“We also found that protonic decay is strongly correlated with the number of protinos that are present in the star’s core,” he said.
“And it is a very important finding because it indicates that the star must be very stable, because protons will not be able to annihilate it in a way that makes it explode.
These results confirm the theory of the evolution of stars as the result of the interactions between protons.”
The discovery has implications for a number of astrophysics topics, including the properties and processes that form planets.
For example, if protons were the key element in the production of planets, the star would have to be very hot, since it would be difficult to form planets with relatively little heat in a planet’s core.
And if planets are formed with a small number of proton-antineutron collisions, they would not have enough mass to form a stable, hot planet.
“Proton and neutrinos are key ingredients of the planets, because they are the only elements that can form protons,” said co-lead author Markus G. Zwier of the Centre for Astrobiology at the University for the Science of the Future (CAST) in Vienna, Austria.
“Because of their abundance, they are also crucial for the formation and growth of planets.”
The scientists are also interested in the interactions of protonal and neutrin-produced star nuclei with the host stars’ atmosphere, since protons can decay into their nuclear equivalent.
In order to study the processes involved, they developed a model of a protonal decay.
“Our model predicts that the decay of the host star would be very different from the star formation process, which we have observed in other experiments,” he added.
The model predicts the formation, and the decay, of protonic nuclei within the star, and it is therefore possible to predict how much star formation could occur in such a scenario.
The scientists also developed a number more complex models for the properties that give rise to star nucleosynthesis, star formation and star formation of planets under the influence of protrons.
The research was published in the journal Nature Physics.