Diwali , Laxmi and Physics

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This Diwali is especial. Man never observed 630 earth mass of gold being sprayed in sky along with other metals like silver , platinum or uranium. Many of us in India can’t celebrate it as we really don’t know it. Laxmi was smiling in sky. It was a crash of two neutron stars.

Till now the big question with physics was how such heavy metals got formed in natural environment. We only know star like sun makes Helium to Iron. SUN makes it by burning self through fusing nucleus. Hydrogen to helium , Helium to lithium.. one by one till Iron. Iron is last metal in this manufacturing set up. Iron accumulated at centre of SUN and makes it heavy. Sun dies in end with gravity.

When a star die, it has mainly three end results – White dwarf, neutron star or black hole. Star’s mass decides its end result. Our sun is light in weight so it will be dwarf. Middle size sun (10 to 29 Solar mass) ends in neutron star. And heavy star ends in Black hole.

Neutron stars are extremely dense bodies made purely of neutrons. They are hardly 10-15 Kms long. They can have mass 2-3 times of SUN. These are hot dense monster which rotates at incredible speed upto 716 times per second. There are 100 million neutron stars in our galaxy (Milky way).

Neutron stars are made of neutron. During crash, electrons come out from space. Fast moving nearby space violently creates electron. These electrons get captured by this crashed soup of neutron resulting heavy metals.

First time, we have seen such big event. 70 teams across the globe collaborated for this event. All teams were allocated at different locations of earth. These teams along with LIGO/Virgo observed light waves and gravitations together. Almost 4000 researchers participated. So it is widely validated cosmic event. Astronomers detected the merger from 130 million light-years away in the galaxy NGC 4993.

At the crash scene, teams recorded unprecedented observations of the aftermath in visible light, radio waves, X-rays, and gamma rays. It was a radioactive soup giving birth to unfathomable amounts of platinum, gold, and silver.

All gold , including your own earring or ring have been made this way only. Roaming neutron stars crashed together to give you happiness. It comes out from radioactive soup of metals like Uranium. It shows in nature - poison and nectar are being created same time. Nature has amazing balance.