universe it will become inhospitable and end up consuming itself in silence and darkness. “data-reactid =” 12 “> Unlike how it arose, with a great explosion just under 14 billion (14,000 million) years ago, at the end of the times the universe will become inhospitable and will end up consuming itself in silence and darkness.
Illinois State University (ISU) Matt Caplan. “Data-reactid =” 13 “>“ It will be a sad, lonely and cold place, ”explained Illinois State University (ISU) assistant professor of physics Matt Caplan.
In his latest theoretical work, the academic predicted by means of a computer simulation that many white dwarfs will detonate in the far future, generating supernovae, long after everything else has died.
“Accentuating the darkness could be silent fireworks: explosions from the remnants of stars that were never supposed to explode,” the agency said in a press release.
This scenario is known as “death by heat”, at which time the universe will be composed mainly of black holes and burned stars, the expert added.
Currently, the death of massive stars occurs when internal nuclear reactions produce iron. This material accumulates in the core and cannot be burned by the star, which is why it is transformed into a kind of poison that causes the collapse and subsequent supernova.
“Instead, smaller stars tend to die with a little more dignity, shrinking and turning into white dwarfs at the end of their lives,” the ISU explained.
“Stars less than 10 times the mass of the Sun do not have the gravity or density to produce iron in their cores as massive ones do, so they cannot explode in a supernova,” Caplan explained.
According to the academic, “as white dwarfs cool over the next trillion years, they will become dimmer, eventually freeze, and become ‘black dwarfs that no longer glow.”
Like today’s white dwarfs, they will be composed primarily of light elements such as carbon and oxygen, but will contain roughly the same mass as the Sun. Their interior will be compressed to densities millions of times greater than anything else on Earth.
The ISU explained that just because they are cold does not mean that their nuclear reactions will stop.
“The stars shine due to thermonuclear fusion; they are hot enough to crush small nuclei into larger nuclei, releasing energy. White dwarfs are ashes, they are burned, but fusion reactions can still occur due to quantum tunneling, just much slower, ”added Caplan.
Accepted by the Royal Astronomical Society for publication in Monthly Notices, their study proposed how long these nuclear reactions take to produce iron and how much iron different-sized black dwarfs need to explode.
The professor called these explosions a “black dwarf supernova” and predicted that the first one would occur in approximately 10 ^ 1,100 years (1,100 to the tenth power).
“It is almost a hundred times a trillion (trillion or million million). If I did write it down, it would take up most of a page. It is incredibly far in the future, ”he argued.
Of course, not all black dwarfs will explode, only the largest ones, whose magnitude is between 1.2 and 1.4 times the mass of the Sun. That means, according to the ISU estimate, that up to 1 percent of All the stars that exist today, about a trillion trillion (1 billion trillion), can expect to die this way.
The remainder will remain black dwarfs, Caplan said: “Even with very slow nuclear reactions, the Sun still does not have enough mass to explode in a supernova, even in the distant future. You could turn it into iron and it still wouldn’t explode. “
The professor calculated that the largest black dwarfs will explode first, followed by progressively smaller stars, until there are no more left to explode after about 10 ^ 32,000 years.
“It’s hard to imagine something coming after that. A black dwarf supernova could be the last cool thing to happen in the universe. It may be the last supernova in history, “he said.
Even by the time the first black dwarfs explode, the universe will be unrecognizable. “The galaxies will have dispersed, the black holes will have evaporated and the expansion of the universe will have separated all the remaining objects so much that none will ever see the others explode. It will not even be physically possible for light to travel that far ”, he concluded.