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May 3, 2018 at 10:58 am

Science News Quotes Prakash in ‘Neutron Stars Shed Neutrinos to Cool Down Quickly’

Dr. Madappa Prakash, portrait

Dr. Madappa Prakash

Science News quoted Dr. Madappa Prakash in an article headlined “Neutron stars shed neutrinos to cool down quickly.”

Prakash is a Professor of Physics & Astronomy at Ohio University.

Scientists have spotted the first solid evidence that some neutron stars, the collapsed remnants of exploded stars, can rapidly cool their cores by emitting neutrinos. The result adds to evidence that scientists are gathering to understand the ultradense matter that is squished deep within a neutron star’s center….

The direct Urca process, named by physicists George Gamow and Mário Schenberg in the 1940s, took its moniker from the now-defunct Urca casino in Rio de Janeiro. “The joke being that this process removes heat from the star the way the casino removes money from tourists’ pockets,” Brown says.

In the process, neutrons in the star’s core convert into protons and emit electrons and antineutrinos (the antimatter partners of neutrinos). Likewise, protons convert into neutrons and emit antielectrons and neutrinos. Because neutrinos and antineutrinos interact very rarely with matter, they can escape the core, taking energy with them. “The neutrino is a thief; it robs energy from the star,” says physicist Madappa Prakash of Ohio University in Athens, who was not involved with the research….

However, the scientists weren’t able to determine the mass of the neutron star, limiting the conclusions that can be drawn. But, says Prakash, if the mass of such a quickly cooling neutron star is measured, the neutron star’s interior makeup could be nailed down.

Read the entire story at Science News.

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