Simple explanation of theory
This page will attempt to explain the questions surrounding the high level theory of supernova explosions and pulsars in the simplest current form.
It turns out, based on the data about neutron star pulsars and supernova explosions, that the basic question that must be answered is:
Does a “SuperNova Explosion (SNE)” cause a “Neutron Star Pulsar (NS)” to be created?,
Does a “Neutron Star Pulsar (NS)” cause a “Supernova Explosion (SNE)” to be created?
which is roughly the same as asking whether a rock coming thru a breaking opaque window pane caused the window to break, or did the breaking window cause the rock to be created.
In other words did the window spontaneously explode into pieces and create a flying rock in the process, or did a flying rock crash into the window causing it to explode into pieces.
The reason this question is asked is because we can see the remains of several supernova explosions that contain a fast pulsar in the midst of the remains, and we must understand whether the pulsar caused the explosion or the explosion created the pulsar.
We also have seen stars explode in a supernova explosion, like SN1987a, and need to understand the cause of such explosions.
What we will be attempting to determine is that a pulsar is the “cause” of a supernova explosion, and as a result there are many aspects of our current understanding of the galaxy and the universe that must be revised.
The first thing to know is the list of stellar objects that are used to represent the stellar systems that we will be analyzing.
- Giant Star (GS): a star that has a mass at least 10 times that of the Sun and is the entity that is what explodes in the supernova explosion,
- Supernova explosion (SNE): an explosion where a Giant Star (GS) is destroyed,
- Neutron Star (NS): a non-visible, non-rotating compact star w mass of Sun
- Fast Pulsar (FP): a NS that spins with many rotations per second (typically found hurtling through SNE remnants, emitting radio waves, with a pulse rate that is slowing down).
- Slow Pulsar (SP): a NS that spins with many seconds per rotation (typically found in close binary systems, emitting x-rays, and with a pulse rate that is speeding up)
Note: the main differences in the last 3 bullets is whether or not the NS is rotating, and if it is, how fast is it rotating, whether it is isolated or in a binary system, and whether it is slowing down or speeding up.
In order to discuss the question of whether the SNE creates the NS or the NS creates the SNE, we need to have a conceptual framework associated with these 2 possibilities.
The observational data provides us with two fundamental environments that show the association between giants stars, neutron star pulsars, and supernova explosions.
- Environment 1: we see the remnants of a supernova explosion which cover many light years around the center of the explosion, plus we see a fast neutron star pulsar (spinning down) traveling through these remnants in a direct line from the center of the explosion. In addition, we know that what has exploded is a giant star.
- Environment 2: we see a close binary system consisting of a giant star plus a slow neutron star pulsar (spinning up) orbiting right in the outer atmosphere of the giant star.
In order to characterize the two conceptual frameworks we will be comparing, let us give them the following definitions:
- NS-Creation Theory: claims that a supernova explosion creates a neutron star pulsar.
- NS-Capture Theory: claims that a neutron star pulsar causes a supernova explosion.
Both the NS-Capture theory and the NS-Creation theory claim to explain the cause and effect of supernova explosions.
The theories are completely opposite. One and only one of the theories MUST be true (i.e. either “A implies B”, or “B implies A”. but not both).
Both theories claim to explain how a giant star explodes and a pulsar comes into existence
We will now describe a logical representation of the two theories in detail based on the definitions above.
The NS-Creation theory says that a giant star explodes in a Supernova explosion, that has a corresponding implosion that creates a fast pulsar. We represent this as:
GS -> SNE(FP) -> SNR(FP) -> SP -> NS
- A giant star(GS) evolves
- the giant star spontaneously explodes in a supernova explosion (SNE) and creates a fast-rotating pulsar (FP).
- as the supernova remnants (SNR) dissipate, the FP becomes visible to astronomers,
- That FP slows down to become a slow-rotating pulsar (SP).
- Finally, the SP slows down to be a non-visible non-rotating neutron star (NS).
The last 3 steps in this process are observed and therefore will be considered to be facts, and are consistent with the NS-Capture Theory. It is the first 2 steps that are specific to the NS-Creation Theory, and are challenged by the NS-Capture Theory.
The first step, namely that a Giant Star (GS) alone causes the last 3 steps to occur “is” the NS-Creation Theory. i.e. no one has ever clearly seen the situation before the SNE occurs. i.e. while a GS has been seen to explode (SN1987a), it is not clear whether the GS was simply a GS alone, or a GS(FP), i.e. a GS that contained a Fast-rotating Pulsar (FP).
i.e. the question we will be asking is whether:
NS-Capture Theory says that prior to a supernova explosion, that a neutron star pulsar and a giant star co-exist in a close binary system, and that because the pulsar causes such a disruption of the giant star, that the giant star eventually explodes, leaving a fast pulsar spinning in the remnants.
GS(SP) -> GS(FP) -> SNE(FP) -> SNR(FP) -> SP -> NS
- A binary contains a giant star with a slow pulsar companion (SP),
- the binary evolves to a giant star with a fast pulsar companion (FP),
- the giant star explodes in a supernova explosion leaving the fast pulsar (FP) in the remnants,
- as the remants dissipate, the FP becomse visible to astronomers,
- that FP then slows down to become a slow pulsar (SP),
- and finally the SP slows down to become a non-visible, barely rotating neutron star (NS).
Again, the last 3 steps are the same in both the NS-Capture and NS-Creation theories and are observed facts. In addition, the first 2 steps of NS-Capture Theory are observed facts.
The difference is that in the NS-Capture Theory the neutron star pulsar is present before the supernova explosion, whereas in the NS-Creation Theory, the neutron star is created by the supernova explosion.
Our objective on this site is to “prove” that NS-Capture Theory MUST be true, and therefore, NS-Creation Theory MUST be false.
In addition, we will show that once one understands the logic of NS-Capture vs NS-Creation that there are ways to quickly verify the truth of NS-Capture.