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White dwarf

When stars with up to ten solar masses have exhausted the fuel of light atomic nuclei they need to sustain nuclear fusion reactions, they collaps to form a White Dwarf: a comparatively small ball of gas, prevented from further collapse by a quantum mechanical phenomenon, the so-called degeneracy pressure of its electrons.

One way of determining the masses of White Dwarfs uses an effect of general relativity, namely the gravitational redshift - more information about this can be found in the spotlight text Gravitational redshift and White Dwarf stars.


Variants

  • White dwarf star