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Example Research Paper - Sproul 1 Riley Sproul What Is A...

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Sproul 1 Riley Sproul What Is A Black Hole? What is a Black Hole? This question has been zipping through the minds of aspiring physicists , and fiction writers , for years. To try and separate fact from fiction let 's start with a basic definition . A black hole is a single point in space with infinite density and often an unimaginably large mass . It 's the most dense and smallest form of matter or energy that can exist . They are formed from the leftover iron core of a massive star 's explosion , otherwise known as a type one supernova. These supernova can span hundreds of thousands of light years and last for thousands of years . They are one of the most powerful events within the universe and are , in fact, fairly common. But before the pre-supernova star can detonate , it goes through a series of steps in it 's life cycle . First, we “begin with a giant molecular cloud , which is a cold. .. mass of gas.” (Sci Amer, Feb/10). And slowly, over millions of years, it condenses to the “micro-core” of the next stage , the proto-star. These proto-stars will then pull in more and more surrounding gas , as this happens gravitational potential energy transforms into thermal energy and the core become hot enough for hydrogen fusion to occur . Hydrogen fusion is but the start of a cycle in which “the star shrinks in size , increases in density and officially becomes a star when nuclear fusion begins in its core .” (Sci Amer Feb.10). This type of fusion in known as the Proton- proton chain and is a well know series of steps in which , the final step results is the formation of a new helium nucleus along with an very intense energy output in the form of electromagnetic radiation, also known as light . The radiation released is bounced around the inside of the star slowly escaping and being let out into the universe . As it does so it loses energy and cools to the point where it is observable as heat and visible light . These “random walking” light beams push outward on the star, and if not for the counter acting effect of gravity they would simply explode right then and there . But thanks to the mass the star had gathered , it is possible for the outward force of energy to be evenly matched with the gravity the celestial body possess . Later in its life , when the star uses up most of it 's raw hydrogen , it becomes so packed with helium that it sinks to the center of the mass , creating a new type of core. The new helium core isn 't hot enough to fuse yet , but as the hydrogen runs low the energy output weakens and gravity starts to win the battle . This causes a contraction of the star which, yet again, transforms gravitational potential energy into thermal and soon make the core hot enough for helium fusion . This type of cycle happens repeatedly , creating new cores, shells, fusion and therefore elements, until iron is reached. After iron, creating heavier elements requires energy input rather than output , and a star cannot do this. Instead the
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This note was uploaded on 02/21/2011 for the course ASTR 2340 taught by Professor Rupalichandar during the Spring '10 term at Toledo.

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Example Research Paper - Sproul 1 Riley Sproul What Is A...

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