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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 .
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