Do gold and other metals come from the stars? Researcher says yes and explains how

“I’m wearing a ring on my finger. This gold was made in space somehow. And we think we have a pretty good idea where he came from, but there are still a lot of questions.” This is said by researcher Michael Famiano, a professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Michigan, who conducted a study according to which heavy metals originate from the interior of stars.

Study says the interiors of stars are places where collisions and violent reactions could produce enough heat to create matter and antimatter. Image: Artsiom P – Shutterstock

For Famiano and his colleagues, scientists at the University of Wisconsin in the US, the University of Kyushu in Japan, and the National Astronomical Observatory in Japan, the interior of stars is where collisions and violent reactions could produce enough heat to create matter and antimatter.

“Things get hot enough that it’s possible to produce electrons and positrons, and that changes everything we know about the environments that produce the elements,” he says.

These high temperatures are exacerbated by the extremely high magnetic fields found in space. The magnetic fields of neutron stars, for example, are about a quintillion times stronger than Earth’s magnetic field.

 

“This changes nuclear reactions and can change them in a very significant and surprising way,” says Famiano. “And some of the things we’re discovering are really interesting, because our results are almost counterintuitive.”

Scientist gives lecture explaining the high magnetic fields of neutron stars

This Wednesday (13), Famiano presented his research in a scientific lecture of the 2021 edition of the Autumn Meeting of the Nuclear Physics Division of the American Physics Society.

During the lecture, the researcher presented preliminary data on the effects of high magnetic fields on the accumulation of neutron stars.

Furthermore, he explained how high magnetic fields in X-ray bursts can actually change the composition of the ash, as well as how cooling-relevant electron capture rates can actually decrease depending on the field strength, which is the opposite. than was expected.

“This may actually explain some of the strange behavior we see in stellar environments. And it’s so wide because it affects everything that gets really hot and everything that has a very high magnetic field. And you can always find that in space,” said Famiano.

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