Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Homework Help: Physical explanition?

  1. May 12, 2006 #1
    of how a star is able to resist collapsing under its own gravitational attraction??
  2. jcsd
  3. May 12, 2006 #2

    Chi Meson

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    I wonder if there might be anything going on inside the star, pushing out?
  4. May 12, 2006 #3
    nuclear fusion = high pressure, I think.
  5. May 12, 2006 #4


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

  6. May 12, 2006 #5
    The pressure inside a white dwarf (a collapsed star) which remains in equiblirum with the gravitational attraction is the result of Pauli's exclusion principle, which states that two electrons cannot occupy the same quantum state at the same time. This principle gives rise to what is called electron degeneracy pressure and is what counteracts gravitational contraction. If the mass of the original star is greater than 1.4 solar masses (the Chandrasekhar limit), the electron degeneracy pressure will not be sufficient to counteract gravity, and the star will collapse further into either a neutron star or a black hole.
  7. May 12, 2006 #6
    thanks for helping me to better understand :smile:
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook