Analogy: “You can’t go down the up escalator!”
January 27, 2021
In science, it is generally useful to come up with easy-to-understand analogies, or metaphors that relate to the subject being discussed.
In this context what we are trying to do is come up with an analogy that helps us understand the problems with:
- the existing theory of pulsars (which we refer to as the NS-Creation Theory (neutron star creation theory))
and why these problems force us to consider:
- a new theory of pulsars (which we refer to as the NS-Capture Theory (neutron star capture theory))
The analogy can be summarized as follows:
- Isolated pulsars found in the midst of supernova remnants are found to be spinning rather fast but also slowing down:
so we can consider this state of affairs as the neutron star pulsar being on the “down escalator“, i.e. slowing down (spinning down).
- Pulsars found in binary systems are found to be spinning rather slow but also spinning faster:
so we can consider this state of affairs as the neutron star pulsar being on the “up escalator“. i.e. speeding up (spinning up).
So we can consider:
- slow, spinning-up binary pulsars as being on an “up escalator”
(where the presence of the binary companion can be considered to be an “up escalator” as far as the neutron star is concerned)
- fast, spinning-down isolated pulsars as being on a “down escalator”
(where the absence of any companion (i.e. being isolated) can be considered to be a “down escalator”
The problem uncovered by this state of affairs has to do with how a pulsar is “created”.
- NS-Creation theory claims that a pulsar is created as a result of a supernova explosion, i.e. an isolated star explodes and the corresponding implosion creates a neutron star in a fast spinning state, albeit, slowing down from the moment of its birth.
Since there really can’t plausibly be two completely different ways to create a neutron star, NS-Creation theory must apply also to the creation of the neutron stars found in binary systems, i.e. the slow spinning up neutron star pulsars found in binary systems.
Therefore, the only plausible way to create a neutron star in a binary system using NS-Creation theory is to assert that the binary system originally consisted of two more or less normal stars (there are billions of normal binary star systems in the Milky Way galaxy), and that one of those normal stars experienced a supernova explosion which transformed the previously normal star into a neutron star pulsar, thus transforming binary system from being a system containing two normal stars into a system containing one normal star plus on neutron star pulsar.
This is where the basic problem with NS-Creation theory becomes somewhat obvious:
- NS-Creation theory produces a fast spinning neutron star pulsar as one member of a binary system with a normal star companion.
- Unfortunately for NS-Creation theory, this fast-spinning pulsar finds itself on an “up-escalator”, which will cause it to spin faster and faster.
- Therefore NS-Creation theory has failed because by being a fast pulsar that is spinning up, there is no way for the pulsar to get into the state that pulsars in binary systems are generally found: i.e. slow-spinning
- i.e. there is no way for a fast spinning pulsar in a binary system to slow down to become a slow-spinning pulsar, because it is born on an “up escalator” and cannot possibly slow down.
The above logic shows that NS-Creation theory leads to a self-contradiction, and that logic compels us to find a new explanation for the creation of pulsars that begin their life in a slow-spinning state.
The result of this logic is the assertion of the NS-Capture Theory that is what all the discussion on this web site is about.
One thought on “Analogy: “You can’t go down the up escalator!””
Elizabeth Clement says:
I like it!