What keeps nuetron stars stable against further gravitational collpase to black holes?
- Anonymous1 decade agoFavorite Answer
Neutron pressure. The fact that it's pretty darn hard to squish a neutron. Unless the mass of the neutron star exceeds a certain limit, I think 3 solar masses, neutron pressure is sufficient to halt further collapse. Taking it one step up, a white dwarf is stable against further collapse because of the Pauli principle which states that two electrons can't occupy the same orbit, so electron pressure is sufficient to stop further collapse. Unless, of course, the mass of the star is still is too great. Then the electrons are forced into the protons, making them neutrons, and voila - you have a neutron star.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
Their total mass.
In order for a star to collapse in to a black hole, the force of gravity must overwhelm the repulsive forces within the star's own atoms and molecules. As a dead or dying star begins to collapse, the atomic and subatomic forces play a greater role. Though a neutron has zero charge and would therefore should be considered to have no electrical repulsive forces, the fundamental particles (those particles of which neutrons, protons, and electrons.. though I think electrons are considered fundamental particles... are comprised) still retain charge or mass or both and therefore continue to repel one another. Also a neutron star is not solely composed of neutrons, but rather numerous other charged particles.
However, if the total mass of the star is sufficient, gravity will be able to overwelm those forces causing further collapse and resulting in a singularity, i.e. nearly infinite density, a.k.a. a black hole.
- CirricLv 71 decade ago
Hi. One part of a star's core collapse causes electrons to be crushed into protons which neutralizes the electric repulsion force. The neutrons do not repel each other and you wind up with an EXTREMELY dense material consisting of neutrons nestled up against each other like a pool full of BBs. The neutrons have structure which will resist a certain amount of force. If the gravity exceeds this force, the neutrons themselves are crushed.
- Billy ButtheadLv 71 decade ago
Degenerate neutron pressure.
If the star accretes enough matter it will collapse,expelling the remaining space and forcing the neutrons together.
They will revert to a quantum state and become pure energy]E=MC squared in less than 1-12000th of a second.
The burst will leave a large area of low density space that is consistent with an evolving universe!