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White Dwarfs, Neutron Stars, and Black Holes

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Apparently then we have a star of mass about equal to the Sun and of radius much less than Uranus. The calculated density is 61,000 grams per cubic centimeter— just about a ton to the cubic inch. This argument has been known for some years. I think it has generally been considered proper to add the conclusion "which is absurd."

Sir Arthur S. Eddington,
The Internal Constitution of the Stars, 1926

Questions to Explore:
  • How does a star get to be a white dwarf?
  • What happens to stars too massive to become white dwarfs?
  • How are neutron stars and supernovae related?
  • What is a pulsar, and how does it produce pulses?
  • What is curvature of space, and how is it an alternative to Newton’s theory of gravity?
  • What is a black hole, and how does a collapsing star form one?

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