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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

(p.40) 3 Stars and Black Holes
The Shadow of the Black Hole

John W. Moffat

Oxford University Press

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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