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5 - Final fate of a massive star

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 August 2009

Pankaj S. Joshi
Affiliation:
Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, India
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Summary

The considerations on gravitational collapse so far have been with the motivation to address the physical questions such as the role of collapse in astrophysics and cosmology. Many of the cosmic processes, such as the birth of stars, the formation of galaxies, and others, are not well understood today, but it is clear that gravitational collapse will play a major role there. Hence, understanding the dynamics of the collapse is important, as has been attempted here in various cases.

The important question of the final fate of massive stars at the end of their life cycle, when they have used all their nuclear fuel, and when gravity becomes the sole and key governing force, has drawn much attention for many decades. The importance of this issue was highlighted by Chandrasekhar (1934), who pointed out that the life history of a star of small mass must be essentially different from that of a star of large mass, and that while a small mass star can pass into a white dwarf stage, a star of large mass cannot go to this state, and one is left speculating on other possibilities. The question as to what happens when a massive star, heavier than a few solar masses, collapses under its own gravity has been a fundamental key problem in astronomy and astrophysics. If the star is sufficiently massive, beyond the white dwarf or neutron star mass limits, then a continued gravitational collapse must ensue without achieving any equilibrium state, when the star has exhausted its nuclear fuel.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2007

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  • Final fate of a massive star
  • Pankaj S. Joshi, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, India
  • Book: Gravitational Collapse and Spacetime Singularities
  • Online publication: 15 August 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511536274.006
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  • Final fate of a massive star
  • Pankaj S. Joshi, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, India
  • Book: Gravitational Collapse and Spacetime Singularities
  • Online publication: 15 August 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511536274.006
Available formats
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Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

  • Final fate of a massive star
  • Pankaj S. Joshi, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, India
  • Book: Gravitational Collapse and Spacetime Singularities
  • Online publication: 15 August 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511536274.006
Available formats
×