Dec 01, 2012 at 02:15PM EST
That may be the best compliment I’ve had all week. Thank you.
And I do like quantum mechanics, it’s just that It’s easier to explain it when you’re a little bit buzzed.
Anyway, the hypothetical star has a few issues with it – the first being how fast it would collapse. I’ll go ahead and ignore the protostar stage, though it is kind of important to note that fusion would begin long before the nebula had contracted completely – and the near immediate stellar wind would blow away the other material over time instead of bringing it in. The more massive the star, the faster it burns its fuel to the point of instability. For stars, hydrostatic equilibrium balances the rate of fusion and the contraction of material due to gravitational pressure. The more massive it is, the faster it has to fuse hydrogen to helium to (insert entire CNO cycle here) to maintain an outward pressure equal to the force of gravity. This is a huge limit on the lifetimes of massive stars, and the one you’re hypothesizing would hit the Iron-56 barrier almost immediately, which would prevent further fusion the moment enough of it built up in the core that fusion would stop.
Considering stars attain their true temperatures after a steady pace of fusion, this is one way I don’t see it happening. Keeping things small would be the idea here, I think.
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