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Current Affairs

Neutrinos aid in death of massive stars

Date: 01 February 2021 Tags: Space

Issue

Researchers at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Guwahati, have found important clues to understand the death of massive stars and have also revealed the problems with the existing models.
 

Background

The mechanism of these super explosions is not yet completely solved and has remained one of the enigmas of nature.
 

Details

  • Supernovae is the super explosions at the time of death of large massive stars and are considered to be the cradle of birth for new stars and synthesis of the heavy elements in nature.

  • At the end of their life, the stars, especially massive ones, collapse resulting in an immense shock wave that causes the star to explode.

  • The study of supernovae and the particles they release helps us understand the universe because almost all matter that makes up the universe is a result of these massive explosions.

  • During the core collapse of supernova explosion, neutrinos are created in several particle processes.

  • Due to their neutral nature and extremely weak interaction with stellar matter the neutrinos escape the dying star and carry 99% energy of the collapsing star.

  • Thus the tiny neutrinos are the only messenger bringing information from the deepest interiors of the star.

  • This information is very crucial for the reason that in the extremely dense supernovae core neutrinos interact with other neutrinos and may interchange flavours.

Neutrino

A neutrino is a subatomic particle that is very similar to an electron, but has no electrical charge and a very small mass, which might even be zero.

Neutrinos are one of the most abundant particles in the universe. Because they have very little interaction with matter, however, they are incredibly difficult to detect.