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The Shadow of the Black Hole$
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John W. Moffat

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780190650728

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190650728.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 31 July 2021

Stars and Black Holes

Stars and Black Holes

Chapter:
(p.40) 3 Stars and Black Holes
Source:
The Shadow of the Black Hole
Author(s):

John W. Moffat

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190650728.003.0003

Physicists began to believe in black holes when research revealed new information about the constitution of stars and their life cycles, indicating that a black hole represents the death of certain massive stars. Chandrasekhar used quantum mechanics and the notion of a degenerate electron gas to obtain the maximum mass of a white dwarf. A degenerate neutron gas produced enough pressure to stop the gravitational collapse of a massive star, producing a neutron star or pulsar. For a massive-enough star, the degenerate neutron gas fails to prevent gravitational collapse into a black hole. Supernovae explosions and implosions produce a neutron star or black hole as remnants. Oppenheimer and Volkoff used general relativity to derive the maximum mass of a star that would produce a black hole. Wheeler conceived of a “hairless black hole” in which only the mass, charge, and angular momentum determined the properties of the black hole.

Keywords:   Chandrasekhar, white dwarf, neutron star, black hole origin, electron degenerate gas, neutron degenerate gas, Oppenheimer and Volkoff, supernovae, Wheeler, hairless black hole

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