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Theory of quantum phenomena turned into reality: quantum secrets of white dwarfs revealed

Theory of quantum phenomena turned into reality

Each white dwarf leaves behind a dense stellar object that forms after the star's life cycle comes to an end. And in that process, the astronomers noticed a theoretical quantum conundrum. White dwarfs increase in mass, but at the same time shrink in size, becoming small and dense until they collapse and turn into a neutron star. That strange relationship was first scientifically derived by the astrophysicist and the Nobel laureate Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar in the 1930s.

A modern team of the astrophysicists at Hopkins University took past calculations as a basis and developed their own unique observation method using astronomical data collected in the Gaia Space Observatory's Sloane Digital Sky Survey.


An astrophysicist Nadya Zakamska believes that the impressive combination of quantum mechanics and gravity is the ratio of mass to radius, which is extremely contradictory, since, according to science, if an object gains mass, then outwardly it also becomes larger.

By studying the effect of gravitational redshift, the scientists have obtained interesting results using a combination of measurements. It consists in changing the wavelength of light from blue to red as the light moves away from the object under consideration.

A researcher Chih Hwang supposes it is necessary to recognize the effect of gravitational redshift in the data. In addition, the scientists have taken into account the motion of a star in outer space that affects the perception of its gravitational displacement.


This is similar to the sound of a fire truck siren - it changes its pitch as it approaches and moves away. It is called the Doppler effect and the astrophysicists consider it as possible to apply it to the study of the white dwarfs. And it explains the strangeness of cosmic processes. As the star gets smaller as mass increases, the effect of gravitational redshift also increases with the mass.