The Book of Nucleogenesis of The Bible According to Einstein

The Story of a Supernova

The seventeenth book of Creation

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366                        The Bible According to Einstein

The seventeenth book of Creation, called

Exodus X: Nucleogenesis

Ah Nature, the Almighty Alchemist.

Chapter I: On Stars and Living Creatures

Now let it be known to thee and all around thee that a star is like unto a living creature. It has a birth, a childhood, an adolescence. It matures, grows old and dies. And like any living creature, it needs food to support its activities and functions. Now a star’s principal function is to radiate. And to radiate, a star processes nourishment and turns it into motion, energy and heat. But unlike a living creature, which takes its sustenance from its surroundings, a star feeds itself by burning in its core its nuclei. Thus the core at the center of a star is both its stomach and its food. In some sense, a star consumes itself to shine.
     And just like there are many kinds of living beings, there are many kinds of stars: red supergiants, red giants, yellow Sun-like stars, blue giants, cepheids, white dwarfs, subdwarfs, and many more. And stellar luminosities, temperatures and masses vary greatly. The white dwarfs are the ants of stars. The red giants are the elephants.

Chapter II: A Giant Energetic Star

It was nine-billion years ago. And in a remote region of a galaxy, a cloud of gas collapsed and made a star.61 And the star was very heavy, weighing eighteen times a solar mass. Now for a living creature, the larger it is the more it eats. And let it be known to thee and all around thee that the same is true for stars. And this star had an insatiable appetite for its sustenance, its own nuclei.
     And let it be known that a star supports its weight with pressure from outward-flowing heat and radiation. Thus without heat and radiation to counteract the force of gravity, a star would uncontrollably collapse.
     And it came to pass that the giant star devoured its nuclear fuel in supporting its enormous mass. Hydrogen nuclei62 constituted its main source of nourishment: In the core, protons were consumed and converted into helium-four. And the fusion of four protons produced both heat and radiation. And to speed the processes, a "digestive enzyme-analog" substance was employed, consisting of the nuclei of carbon-twelve. Thus small quantities of carbon in the core expedited fusions of the protons into helium-four.

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61 The collapse was similar to the one described in Exodus VII.
62 A hydrogen nucleus is also a proton. For the terminology and processes in this chapter and the remaining ones in Exodus X, see the New Testament Book of Nuclear Physics.

 
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The Old Testament                                       367

     Now carbon catalyzed the processes as follows. A carbon-twelve nucleus absorbed a proton and metamorphosed into a nitrogen-thirteen nucleus. The nitrogen-thirteen decayed to carbon-thirteen, which in turn fused with a proton to produce nitrogen-fourteen. Then the nitrogen-fourteen absorbed another proton and became oxygen-fifteen. The oxygen-fifteen decayed into nitrogen-fifteen. And finally, the nitrogen-fifteen merged with a proton and produced helium-four and carbon-twelve.
     And these processes constituted the carbon cycle. During the cycle, a carbon-twelve nucleus was destroyed at the beginning and recreated at the end. And in effect, a carbon-twelve in the core absorbed four protons and produced a helium-four.
     And in these processes, neutrinos, electrons and energetic photons were produced. And the neutrinos, being massless and weakly interacting, streamed out of the giant star at the speed of light, and they were lost. Nor did the positrons last long – they instantly combined with electrons in matter-antimatter annihilations which generated gamma rays. Thus the carbon cycle destroyed mass, created photons, and generated energy. And the photons and the energy, which were absorbed inside the star, produced great quantities of heat and radiation. And the outward flow of radiation was so intense that it counterbalanced the enormous central pull of gravity. And so the mass and matter of the star did not collapse upon itself.
     Now the heavy weight of the giant star pushed down strongly on matter in the core, creating a great pressure there. And as the pressure pushed the protons and the nuclei together, they merged quite readily. Thus high pressure and high density made fusion processes proceed quite rapidly, and vast quantities of energy were generated. The star was hot both radioactively and thermally, the central temperature being forty-million Kelvins. And the star’s surface radiated light brilliantly and blindingly at thirty-thousand times the brightness of the Sun.
     Thus protons were vigorously consumed and converted into helium by the hungry star. Compared with other stars, this giant was a reckless squanderer of nuclear fuel and food. And like a greedy individual, it would someday pay the penalty.

Chapter III: No More Protons in the Core

Two-million years passed by. And it had happened that all hydrogen was depleted at the center of the giant star – a tiny core of nuclei of helium-four was there. And the star began to digest protons at the surface of the sphere of helium. And as the star digested more, so grew the helium core. The star was a hungry one and was shining seventy-thousand times brighter than the Sun.


 
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368                        The Bible According to Einstein

And he who devoureth during the first seven years of plenty
shall starve in the second seven years of famine.

     Then ten-million years went by; the giant star had consumed what an average star consumes in ten-billion years. And the innermost one-quarter of the star had been converted into helium.
     The hydrogen in its stomach was exhausted – the proton food was gone. Suddenly did the energy output drop. The radiation pressure plunged. And with little to support the star, it shrank. And as it shrank, the central temperature surged to two-hundred-million Kelvins63 and the density climbed to a thousand times the density of water.

Chapter IV: The Helium Flash

And suddenly, helium fusion activated. And in the core, three helium-four nuclei merged into a carbon-twelve, while ejecting energetic photons. And everywhere within the central core, helium nuclei did fuse.
     And the entire core ignited. And the energy from the new nuclear reactions fired, creating a burst of outward-flowing radiation. And as the core expanded quickly, a wave of heat and radiation surged outward through the star. And the star’s outer shell did swell. And a layer of hydrogen was blasted into surrounding empty space.
     Deep inside the star, as the core expanded, reaction rates did drop. And eventually the expansion slowed and stopped.

Chapter V: A Red Supergiant Arises

And the star’s new size was great – a red supergiant star had it become. And with a radius of three-hundred-million kilometers, it was large enough to hold within its body the orbits of the Earth and Mars if they had been in that vicinity.64
     Now the swift expansion cooled the stellar surface to five-thousand Kelvins. And less light was emitted per unit region of the surface than before. But the star was so voluminous that it still shone one-hundred-thousand times the brightness of the Sun. Now hydrogen composed the outermost three-quarters region of the supergiant star. And at the inner parts of this three-quarters region, hydrogen continued fusing into helium. And this was the main source of energy for producing the star’s heat and light. But in the core, helium fused to carbon-twelve. And further fusions by absorptions of helium-fours slowly produced oxygen-sixteen, neon-twenty and magnesium-twenty-four. And in these processes energetic photons were ejected. And as the photons heated the surrounding gas, the star got hot inside.

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63 This is fifteen times hotter than the temperature at the center of the Sun. Collapsing systems tend to heat up as constituents bump against each other. See the Book of Thermodynamics. In this case, gravitation potential energy is converted into heat.
64 Of course at this time, the solar system did not yet exist.

 
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The Old Testament                                       369

     The star had had no choice but to consume its stomach. The burning of helium and heavier nuclei was like unto an ulcer. The star was sick inside.
     And for hundreds of thousands of years did helium so burn while making carbon in the core. And the amount of carbon at the center of the star increased. And a small sphere of carbon in the core appeared.

Chapter VI: No More Helium in the Core

One million years went by. Having been converted into carbon, the last nuclei of helium in the central core were finally exhausted. And a sudden drop in energy resulted in a drop in outward-flowing radiation pressure. And so the star did shrink. And as it shrank, the central density soared to two-hundred-fifty-thousand times the density of water and the central temperature climbed to seven-hundred-million Kelvins.

Chapter VII: The Carbon Flash, the Neon Flash

And suddenly did carbon fusion activate – in the core, two carbon-twelves combined, producing nuclei of neon, magnesium, oxygen and sodium. And these reactions also generated energetic photons, neutrons, helium-four nuclei and protons. And for a second time, there was a flash, as the entire carbon core ignited. And the inner region of the star exploded in an enormous blast. And the core shook back and forth. But eventually did the star obtain an equilibrium.
     In a shell, helium closest to the carbon core did fuse and make more nuclei of carbon-twelve. And so the carbon core grew bigger. Likewise, protons just outside the shell of helium did fuse. As they made more nuclei of helium, the helium-shell’s outer radius grew out. And the fusion into helium did fuel the outer regions of the star.
     Now the carbon, which burned deep inside the star, was like unto a stomach cancer. The star was like a human with a hidden tumor. Outside the core, the star seemed unaware of anything – it even radiated stronger than before.
     Now the central region was so hot that highly energetic photons made matter-antimatter positron-electron pairs. And the positrons annihilated quickly with electrons, most often generating gamma rays but sometimes producing neutrino-antineutrino pairs. And such antineutrinos and neutrinos were so weakly interacting that they streamed out the star without a single interaction – they left the star and entered outer space. Thus neutrinos robbed the core of energy; they were like unto parasites.

The cancer had begun to drain the star of strength.

     And carbon burned for just two-thousand years. And when the carbon in the core was gone, the star contracted, the central temperature doubled to one-and-one-half billion Kelvins, and the central density surged to seven-million times the density of water.65 And neon fusion in the core commenced.

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65 Compared with the conditions at the center of the Sun, the star at this point was one-hundred times hotter and more than forty-thousand times denser!

 
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370                        The Bible According to Einstein

Chapter VIII: The Energy Drain

And the sizzling core produced such highly energetic photons that photonuclear dissociation did begin – a highly energetic photon struck a nucleus and tore the nucleus in two. Now in this fission process, energy from photons was absorbed. Thus photonuclear dissociation sapped the core of energy.
     And the sizzling core created positron-electron pairs at a prolific rate. In matter-antimatter annihilations, sometimes antineutrinos and neutrinos were produced. And out of the star did go these massless weakly interacting particles. Henceforth the star would lose more energy in neutrinos than in light and radiation.
     Now the structure of the star was this: The core contained the nuclei of medium-light elements. Around the core were four concentric shells: an inner shell of oxygen, magnesium and neon; a second shell of oxygen and carbon; a third shell of helium; and an outer shell of hydrogen. Negatively charged electrons were distributed everywhere and neutralized the nuclei throughout the star.
     And through neutrino radiations and photonuclear dissociations, the core’s energy was being drained. Fusion had to sustain these energy-consuming processes and to support the star’s enormous weight. The "energy engine" in the core was being strained.

Chapter IX: Heavier Elements Feed the Star

And in just twelve years, the neon in the core was gone! The energy output in the core declined. And since the outward flow of radiation no longer could support the heavy star, the core contracted. The central temperature did increase to two-billion Kelvins; the central density did double. And oxygen nuclei began to "burn." Two oxygens merged and made magnesium, sulfur, silicon and phosphorus. Thus oxygen fusion fueled the core, providing energy for heat, for radiation, and for the parasitic processes of neutrino emission and photonuclear dissociation.
     And in only four short years, the core’s oxygen completely was depleted. And so again the core contracted. At sizzling temperatures and tremendous densities, the neutrino drain accelerated while silicon became the core-producing fuel: Silicons fused into nuclei of nickel-fifty-six, which subsequently did decay to nuclei of iron-fifty-six, neutrinos, positrons and energetic photons. Iron thus began to grow within the core. And in small quantities, heavier elements such as titanium, vanadium, chromium, manganese and cobalt were created.
     And the neutrino drain on energy took off.


 
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The Old Testament                                       371

     In its core, the star was starving. The core burned anything to satisfy its need for energy. But iron would not burn. Now let it be known to thee and all around thee that iron is the most stable of all nuclei. When iron fuses, energy is absorbed and not released. Thus for a star, iron is like dead material.

Chapter X: The Nuclear Rainbow

Now the star had lived for only thirteen million years – yet it was old, for its body had severely aged, and its structure had severely changed: There were an iron core and five concentric shells. And the inner shell was made of silicon and sulfur; the second shell contained oxygen, magnesium and neon; the third was made of oxygen and carbon; the fourth was formed of helium; and the outer shell was hydrogen. Thus the star was like unto an onion – the onion layers were layers of elements.

Chapter XI: The Core Goes Critical

Now with little radiation to support the core, the core contracted. And iron nuclei were squeezed together. Likewise, electrons were pushed against each other. And this squeezing of electrons led to pressure. And the dead core shrank until the pressure from electrons matched the force of gravity. Thus electron-pressure counterbalanced weight and did prevent complete collapse.

The ants were holding up the elephant.

     And time ticked like unto a sparking fuse of dynamite. As silicon which burned around the core turned into iron, the dense dead core accrued more mass. And the core’s weight upon itself increased. And this caused the electrons and the iron nuclei to squeeze together more.
     Now silicon burned for two straight days,66 during which the iron core grew to one-thousand kilometers in radius. The iron therein weighed as much as the Sun and one-third more. And then it came to pass that the core’s enormous weight matched the maximum-achievable electron pressure; the core was critical. And the gravitational analog of an atomic bomb was ready to take place.

Chapter XII: The Inner Core Collapses

And in the next split second, weight overwhelmed the pressure. Thus the mighty force of gravity had won the war against the miniscule electrons.

The elephant, of course, had triumphed.

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66 Here and below, a day refers to a unit of time – twenty-four hours – that is, the time it takes the Earth to rotate once in the third millennium AD. Since the Earth did not yet exist, one might wonder whether concepts such as year or day make sense.

 
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372                        The Bible According to Einstein

     Now in the onion-structured shells outside the core, the star kept fusing nuclei. And these fusions generated heat and radiation and supported the weight of the outer regions of the star. And at the stellar surface, light continued to be emitted brilliantly, but the star was as good as gone.

The ill-tempered star would die
not with a whimper but a bang.

     The core collapse commenced. As electrons and iron nuclei were squeezed together at the center of the star, electrons merged with protons, producing neutrons and neutrinos. Electron disappearance in the core reduced the pressure more. In contrast to most situations, the collapse of matter made the pressure drop instead of rise. The internal resistance was completely gone. The fist of gravity was free to pound the floor. The hand of gravity accelerated matter to the center of the core. The central temperature did soar.

The foundation of a tall building is dynamited.
The lower floors free fall and crash to earth.
Momentarily, the higher floors remain in place.
And
then they too free fall.

     And the core collapsed in an implosion. And it was like a movie running backward of an explosion.
     And a few milliseconds passed. And three-fold did the core reduce in size. The nuclei became so closely packed that even weakly interacting neutrinos interacted. Thus in the core, neutrinos bounced off nuclei and scattered. And some neutrinos were absorbed and re-emitted. Eventually they did escape the core, but they did so much more slowly than before.
     And a few more milliseconds passed. The innermost fifteen-kilometer region, which contained one-fifth a solar mass, contracted further until the iron nuclei were crushed together. The density skyrocketed six-hundred-fold, attaining that of pure nuclear material – two-hundred-and-fifty-trillion times the density of water. The iron nuclei melted into a single ten-kilometer nucleus of electrons, neutrons, protons and neutrinos.
     And the inner core was spinning: The collapse had set it spinning – it was like unto a skater bringing in his arms. The bringing in of mass had made the core-ball spin.
     And a few more milliseconds passed. The protons and the neutrons in the ten-kilometer nucleus were together crushed beyond the density of normal nuclear material. And let it be known to thee and all around thee that nuclear matter is highly incompressible. And so the inner core could squeeze no more.


 
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The Old Testament                                       373

Chapter XIII: The Inner Core Rebounds

And like unto a ball bouncing off a wall – deforming, squashing then expanding – the inner core rebounded. And nuclear matter halted in its tracks and then drove out. And there was a thunder-deafening ring. And from the center did emanate a wave of pressure at the speed of sound. But the iron in the outer core continued to fall in at one-fourth the speed of light. And the outward-moving pressure wave pushed against the flow of inward-falling nuclei. And it was as walking through a wind of raining iron.
     And the pressure wave plowed out, moving against a moving medium. And at thirty kilometers from the center, iron fell so fast the wave could hardly move at all.

It was like unto a rower rowing in a stream against a current,
in which the current
almost flowed as fast as rower rowed.
To an observer on the river bank, the rower
barely moved.

     At the center of the star, nuclear material continued to compress. The compression produced more pressure waves. These secondary pressure waves pushed out and joined the original principal pressure wave, adding energy and pressure to that wave. And a bulge of tremendous pressure and great energy developed there. And energy furnished to the wave propelled it through the heavy rain of iron. And the pressure-build-up-point sped out at one-twentieth the speed of light.

The rower was given help and strength
to row against a strongly flowing current.

     A millisecond passed. Deep inside, the protons and the neutrons in the iron rained in and joined the other nucleons. The giant nugget of a nucleus grew to twenty-two kilometers in size. Inside the nucleonic nugget, intense pressure and high density did push electrons into protons. And as the electrons and the protons merged and disappeared, neutrons and neutrinos took their place. Thus a metamorphosis of charged particles to neutral ones took place. And the sizzling forty-billion-degree-hot nucleonic nugget profusely spit out positron-electron pairs; energy was converted into matter in the form of e-minus–e-plus67 pairs as "E turned into mc-squared." As positrons and neutrons merged and disappeared, antineutrinos and protons took their place.
     Thus antineutrinos and neutrinos were made in subatomic metamorphosis. And as antineutrinos and neutrinos scattered randomly off matter, they moved in jagged paths. Now some made it to the surface of the nucleonic nugget and escaped. But most, like drunken individuals, simply staggered aimlessly about and did not reach the surface – they were trapped inside the nucleonic nugget.

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67 An electron is also called an e-minus. Likewise, a positron is also called an e-plus.

 
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374                        The Bible According to Einstein

     Now outside the core, all was calm, with light radiating from the surface of the star as it had done for a hundred-thousand centuries before. The giant star still shone eighty-thousand times the brightness of the Sun. And the onion layers of elements moved imperceptibly, unperturbed by any agitation in the core.

Chapter XIV: The Wave Becomes Destructive

And another millisecond passed. At seventy kilometers from the stellar center, the pressure wave had amassed extraordinary energy and pressure. And now the pressure was so strong that iron nuclei, passing through, disintegrated; they completely fell apart, crumbling into protons, helium-four nuclei and neutrons. And it was like unto rock being blasted into pieces by a drill – the rock was like the iron; the drill was like the pressure wave. And tremendous was the noise – so whopping was the sound that nuclei did pop. The pressure wave had changed its character; it was a shock wave, a destructive wave of enormous force and energy.
     And deep inside, the helium-proton-neutron fragments struck the surface of the nucleonic nugget core, suddenly being halted in their tracks. And pressure waves rebounded and sped out until they reached the wave of shock. And there, they joined and energized the wave. And some of the antineutrinos and neutrinos, emerging from the center of the core, struck the wave of shock, and they too helped to push it out.
     And another millisecond passed. Now half the iron nuclei had fallen in and had been crushed to nucleons. And the innermost seventy-kilometer region of the star contained three-quarters of a solar mass.
     And it came to pass that, in one-tenth of a second, the wave of shock, propelled by its enormous energy, drove out. And it battled the inward-falling iron nuclei, which were ripped apart while passing through the shock. Like a tornado, the shock wave left behind a trail of nuclear destruction. At two-hundred kilometers from the stellar center, it plowed forth and tore the core apart.
     Thus the shock wave undid what the star had done before, for iron nuclei were being fissioned into smaller parts.68 But to fission iron, energy was needed. Thus the destruction of the iron nuclei sapped the wave of energy.69
     And the nucleonic fragments and debris70 created by the shock wave streamed in until they struck the giant nucleonic nugget. And they were flattened, squeezed and crushed, and added to it. And the giant nucleonic ball grew bigger.

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68 Previously the star had assembled protons, neutrons and small nuclei into the larger nuclei.
69 The shock wave was also so hot that some neutrinos were produced. The production of neutrinos also sapped the wave of energy.
70 These were protons, neutrons and helium-four nuclei.

 
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The Old Testament                                       375

Chapter XV: The Shock Wave Stalls

One tenth of a second suddenly went by. At three-hundred kilometers from the stellar center, the shock wave did inch forward. The destruction of nuclei had robbed the wave of energy. And with the loss of energy, the driving force behind its motion dropped. And so the wave slowed down; hardly was it moving.
     And in another tenth of a second, the debilitated shock wave weakened more and stopped. Only fifteen kilometers of iron lay between it and the shell of sulfur-silicon. But the wave had lost the battle against the inward flowing iron nuclei. It was like unto a battered boxer, punch-drunk and too weak to move. It even started drifting slightly in. And nuclei continued to flow through it, rob it of its energy and push it in.

At sunrise, the plow began to till the soil.
In the morning were the oxen fresh –
the tilling of the earth went well.
But at sunset did the oxen tire,
for the same animals had pulled the plow all day.
And the plow dug deep, too deep into the earth.
It hit a rock and it got caught.

     And deep inside the dying star, the nucleonic nugget ball accumulated mass. And with a radius of seventy kilometers, the ball was of enormous weight. As its mass weighed down and crushed its nucleons, the ball contracted. And this created heat. And the rate of neutrino-antineutrino-pair production soared. But the ball was so dense and hot that only a fraction of the antineutrinos or neutrinos could escape.

Chapter XVI: A “Neutrino Star” is Born

One tenth of a second passed. And the ball contracted – fifty-kilometers was now its radius. Countless neutrinos and antineutrinos were packed within the ball. And some, like drunkards, staggered to the surface and escaped. And there, they streamed outward at the speed of light – a "neutrino star" had formed. The outward neutrino-antineutrino flow created pressure71 which matched the force of gravity and slowed the compression of the ball. At its surface, antineutrinos and neutrinos, instead of light, were shining out.

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71 This pressure arose when some neutrinos and antineutrinos were converted into electrons and positrons after striking nucleons.

 
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376                        The Bible According to Einstein

Chapter XVII: The Wave Is Revitalized by Neutrinos

The elements shall melt with fervent heat.

And like unto water spraying from a geyser, enormous quantities of antineutrinos and neutrinos so poured forth. And after travelling almost three-hundred kilometers, some struck the floundering shock wave, which was much hotter and much denser than surrounding matter. And the wave absorbed neutrinos, gaining their energy and their momentum. And so the wave edged out – the neutrino-antineutrino flow was pushing on the shock wave like unto a wind which blows against a sail.

In the field, the rock was overcome.
It no longer blocked the plow.

     And in less than one-tenth second, the shock wave reached the outer surface of the iron core.

The army of destruction had been liberated.
It was free to march.
And forward did it march,
transfiguring everything
that lay in its way.

     Now the shock wave, which was five-billion Kelvins hot, ascended through the layer of silicon and sulfur. And in the region of the wave, silicon-twenty-eight fused with itself, thereby creating nickel-fifty-six and energetic photons. Thus the shock wave stimulated fusion and left behind a trail of radioactive nickel in its wake. And the fusion furnished energy which fed the wave.

The army robbed and plundered victims,
and it grew stronger.

     And the wave travelling at one-fiftieth the speed of light took several seconds to pass the shell of silicon and sulfur. And a tenth of a solar mass of nickel-fifty-six was left behind. Electrons as well as nuclei of nickel, silicon and sulfur were exploding out. The wave reached the base of the magnesium-oxygen-neon layer. And in the region of the wave, oxygen fused with oxygen, thereby producing magnesium, sulfur, silicon and phosphorus. Heat and energy were released which further fueled the wave. And the wave grew even stronger.
     And the nuclei of neon, oxygen, magnesium and other elements joined the material behind the wave which was being blasted out.
     And throughout the inner layers, nuclear processes in the region of the shock wave made minute amounts of potassium, fluorine, chlorine, argon, calcium, aluminum and scandium. And all these nuclei were ejected and sent flying out.


 
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The Old Testament                                       377

Chapter XVIII: The “Neutrino Star” Contracts

And it came to pass that, deep inside the star, the nucleonic nugget ball grew smaller, hotter, denser – forty-kilometers was now its radius, while its temperature was one-hundred-billion Kelvins.72 And enormous quantities of antineutrinos and neutrinos continued to be produced by a thermal bath of liquid nucleons. It was like unto a pot of boiling water – the water molecules were like the nucleons; the antineutrinos and neutrinos were like the bubbles and the steam. In colossal numbers, antineutrinos and neutrinos at the surface of the ball poured out. And through the star and at the speed of light did they stream out.
     And since neutrinos carried energy, they robbed the ball of energy. And gradually the temperature declined a bit. And so production of neutrinos eased somewhat.
     The neutrino-antineutrino blast lasted for ten seconds. Thus the lifetime of the "neutrino star" was just ten seconds. During its existence, ten-billion-trillion-trillion-trillion-trillion73 antineutrinos and neutrinos were emitted.
     And the temperature of the nucleonic ball dropped further. And the neutrino-antineutrino output sharply fell. The "neutrino star" shut down. Now almost all the protons had been transformed to neutrons, so that the ball was a giant nucleus of neutrons. At several times a second did it spin.
     And the antineutrinos and neutrinos in the burst flowed out the star and into outer space. And they passed undisturbed through intergalactic dust and gas. They formed a giant shell, like the surface region of a giant sphere. Three-million kilometers in thickness was the shell.

Chapter XIX: The Star Explodes

And forces shall cause the stars to burst.

Now deep inside the star, the shock wave did rage on. And as it sped through the giant star, it spread a bit in width. Thus a thin spherical shell was the region that it occupied. And as it moved out, the shell expanded, and its volume did increase. And as its volume did increase, the energy diluted, causing the wave of shock to cool and to lose speed.

As the wild army conquered many distant lands,
the battalions spread out near and far.
The troops were getting tired.

     And the shock wave struck the layer of oxygen and carbon. And the shock wave’s temperature declined below the limit needed for inducing fusion. And nuclear alchemy then ceased. But the wave continued plowing through the oxygen and carbon nuclei.

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72 This is more than six-thousand times the Sun’s core temperature. At this stage, the nugget ball was a billion-billion times denser than the Sun.
73 1058

 
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378                        The Bible According to Einstein

     Three dozen minutes passed. As the shock wave swept throughout the star, electrons and nuclei were blown about. And interior to the wave, all matter, save the central nucleonic ball, exploded out.
     And in the inner layers, some nuclei and neutrons merged. And minute amounts of all the elements heavier than iron formed.
     And the wave of shock swept through the layer of helium and blasted electrons and alpha particles about. And they too went streaming out. Yet still the surface of the star was undisturbed – just as before, it radiated light at eighty-thousand times the brightness of the Sun.

When the heart of a man stops,
the eyes may close but the body functions still continue.
If the heart can be restarted within seven minutes,
the man can even then be resurrected.
The cells in such a dead man absorb
the little oxygen that still remains in non-circulating blood,
and only later do they die.
The organs are non-operational
but remain functional for several hours.
The corpse stays warm and only slowly cools.

     Three dozen minutes passed. The shock wave reached the inner edge of the layer-shell of hydrogen. It started plowing through the protons and electrons.

.       .       .       .       .       .       .

     It was three hours after the iron-core collapse. And the shock wave rushed out through the very outer edge of hydrogen, the surface of the star. Boom! The star exploded. It was a supernova.
     And the supernova was classified. And its classification was type-two because it exploded alone under its own weight.
     The star’s pent-up energy was finally thrown out. The pent-up insides of the dead star were tossed with vigor into space. The star, which had previously so greedily consumed, was dead.

He who hath taken away shall give back.

     And the nuclei and hydrogen exploded outward at one-tenth the speed of light. The gas leading the advance was one-hundred-thousand Kelvins hot. And the ballooning supernova sphere emitted heavy ultraviolet radiation. And the ultraviolet burst shot out at the speed of light, while the exploding gas was left behind.
     And in outer space around the supernova were two expanding spheres: the outer neutrino-antineutrino shell and the inner ultraviolet-radiation shell. And three-billion kilometers of distance were between the two. And both of them ballooned outward at the speed of light.

A pebble fell into a pond of perfectly quiet water.
A ring went out.
A second pebble fell into the pond.
A second ring went out.


 
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The Old Testament                                       379

Chapter XX: The Aftermath

And near the defunct star, a giant shell of gas swelled out. And as the gas expanded, it did cool. And after several hours, the temperature at the surface of the supernova sphere declined a dozen-fold – six-thousand Kelvins hot was it. And at this lower temperature, ultraviolet radiations dropped, and visible emissions took their place. Thus the expanding gas profusely radiated light. And to an eye, the supernova brightened.
     Now inside the exploding gas, gamma rays repeatedly scattered with electrons and lost energy and degraded into X-rays. And through repeatedly scattering off electrons, these X-rays too lost energy. And the lower-in-energy X-rays were absorbed by electrons, nuclei and protons in the gas, causing these particles to move faster and get hot. And such particles gave off visible light and ultraviolet radiation. But deep inside the gas, material was so dense that electromagnetic radiation was repeatedly absorbed and re-emitted – it was trapped by the material that had created it. Unable to reach the outer surface, it did not escape.
     And the surface of the outward-moving front did cool a bit – five-thousand Kelvins was it. And protons and electrons came together and formed atomic hydrogen. And the story of Recombination, which had taken place when the Universe was three-hundred-thousand years old, was told again. As electrons tumbled to atomic orbits, photons were ejected – light was thus emitted. And to an eye, the supernova brightened.
     Five days went by. At ten-thousand kilometers per second, the hydrogen gas front zoomed through space. But the exploding gas inside sped more slowly, at several thousand kilometers per second. And when the outer regions of the gas expanded more and cooled, recombination also started there. Thus near the surface of the gas, protons and electrons recombined, ejecting photons and releasing light. Atomic hydrogen was made. And the outer layer of the exploding gas became transparent. And the radiation that had been trapped inside was liberated. The supernova strongly brightened.
     And far inside the explosion, nickel-fifty-six, which had previously been generated in the shell of silicon and sulfur, decayed to cobalt-fifty-six, a neutrino and a positron. And the decay released great energy, which propelled the cobalt nuclei to several thousand kilometers per second. Now the positrons annihilated with electrons into energetic photons, which scattered off exploding gas and heated it.


 
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380                        The Bible According to Einstein

     Two weeks went by. And it had come to pass that each electron in the exploding gas had found a partner. And recombination was complete. And so electrons and the nuclei formed neutral atoms. And the advancing gas became entirely transparent. The supernova shone the brightest it would shine – five-hundred-million times the brightness of the Sun.
     And one month went by. Now it had come to pass that most of the energy of the shock wave had been dissipated in escaping radiation or high-speed ejected matter. And the exploding supernova sphere, which was four times the solar system size, had dimmed a bit.
     And two months went by. And in the wilderness of outer space, the advancing gas front further cooled, and light output diminished. Radiation in the infrared did dominate, as the gas front copiously radiated heat.
     Now deep inside the supernova, a cobalt-fifty-six decayed into a positron, neutrino and excited iron-fifty-six. And the excited iron nucleus tumbled to its lowest-energy configuration by hurling out a gamma ray. And the positron annihilated an electron and produced another gamma ray. And these subatomic processes were happening everywhere within the defunct star. Now as gamma rays did scatter, they lost energy in heating up the gas. And they soon degraded into X-rays of energies a thousand times the energies of light. And the supernova copiously emitted energetic X-rays.
     And another month went by. Cobalt-fifty-six, zooming at three-thousand kilometers per second, passed the innermost envelope of gaseous hydrogen. And decaying cobalt nuclei produced gamma rays with energies a million times the energies of light. Now some gamma rays passed through the surface of the exploding gas and into outer space. But other gamma rays scattered off of matter, lost energy and degraded into X-rays, some of which escaped the envelope of hydrogen and entered into outer space. Thus the supernova profusely radiated gamma-rays and X-rays. But visible emissions continued to descend – the brightness of the supernova visibly declined.
     And what was the final energy score? In electromagnetic radiation, the supernova produced thirty-trillion-trillion-trillion-trillion ergs, the equivalent of one-trillion-trillion-trillion tons of TNT. The energy in motion of ejected matter was ten times this. But the energy in the neutrino-antineutrino burst was even greater – a thousand times the output of ejecta, or ten-thousand-trillion-trillion-trillion tons of TNT! The total energy unleashed matched the production of one-hundred Sun-like stars for their entire lifetimes of ten-thousand-million years.74

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74 The supernova explosion was Nature’s nuclear-bomb blast, except Nature had been more powerful than modern man, for it had produced the output of one-billion-trillion-trillion H-bombs. The four large numbers in this paragraph and the one in this footnote are 3.0 x 1049, 1036, 1040, 1010 and 1033.

 
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The Old Testament                                       381

Chapter XXI: A Neutron Star Is Born

And what was left? At the center of the mushrooming radioactive and radiating gas-sphere spun a relatively tiny ball twenty kilometers wide containing a billion-trillion-trillion-trillion-trillion neutrons. It was a giant neutron nucleus, a neutron star. Thus all that remained of the defunct star was its charred stomach. And Nature had rolled the star into a black and tiny ball.
     And the neutron star was forty percent more massive than the Sun – yet seventy-thousand times smaller was its radius. So it was the size of a metropolis – yet the force of gravity on its surface was two-hundred-billion times the force of gravity on Earth.
     And the body of the neutron star was mostly liquid with a solid outer layer; the liquid was a superfluid, in which neutrons swam about with little friction. Now the neutron star contained some protons and electrons, but neutrons did outnumber protons and electrons twenty-one to one.
     As the neutron star spun at thirty times a second, currents of electrons and of protons generated a magnetic field a trillion times the strength of Earth’s magnetic field. Now the spinning-axis and magnetic field were aimed at different angles. Thus the spinning of the neutron star made the direction of its magnetic field trace out a circle.

The beacon of a light house is turned toward the sky at night.
On the dark night clouds, it makes a disk of white.
Along a circle in the cloud-covered sky revolves the disk of light.

     Outside the neutron star, in outer space, were particles. And of the particles, some were charged. And these charged particles were caught in the neutron-star’s magnetic field. And as the field revolved, so did revolve the charges. And those charges that were trapped at a thousand kilometers away from the neutron star moved almost at the speed of light. And they generated long-wavelength radiations75 in collimated waves. And these waves of radio noise beamed outward in a cone, which circled with the circulating field of magnetism, like unto an upward-pointing light-house beam. Now this neutron star was special – it was a pulsar; it was Nature’s broadcast station. Nature was sending sounds throughout thy Universe to announce the neutron star’s existence.

Chapter XXII: A Collision With a Gaseous Cloud

It was one year after the explosion. Debris ejected from the supernova polluted a six-hundred-billion-kilometer interstellar region. And the exploding giant sphere of gas and matter was still ballooning outward at ten-thousand kilometers per second.

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75 These radiations were radio-frequency synchrotron emissions.

 
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382                        The Bible According to Einstein

     And the remaining minute amounts of cobalt-fifty-six decayed and generated gamma rays and X-rays. But the production was significantly lower than before. The supernova star had dimmed considerably. Yet still it shone ten-million times the brightness of the Sun. But all emissions of electromagnetic radiation were dropping quickly in an exponential fashion.
     And many years went by. And trillions of kilometers away from the explosion site did sit a cool gas cloud. And the leading front of the exploding supernova gas struck the almost idle cloud. And it was like unto the clapping of two hands. And two shock waves materialized and moved apart. Between the two did gas grow hot. At a million Kelvins, atomic chaos followed: In the hot shock region, an electron of a heavy atom was ejected from an inner shell. With the emission of an X-ray, another electron fell into the vacant shell. And these processes did happen everywhere between the waves of shock. Thus there were energetic X-rays and electrons everywhere. And free electrons76 spiralling around the lines of magnetic interstellar fields acted as tiny broadcast stations and emitted synchrotron-type radiations, which were mostly noisy radio-type waves.77 In unison, the "noise" was great. Now in the hottest regions, the gas emitted ultraviolet radiations. And less-hot gas emitted visible and infrared. And all these electromagnetic waves, like flocks of birds, took flight, speeding outward at the speed of light.

And the supernova signalled
throughout the Universe to those who watched and listened
the destruction of its sins.

     And the collision of the supernova gas with the cool idle cloud did dent the leading supernova front. And the multi-trillion-kilometer-sized sphere developed a dimple in its shape.78
     And for thousands of years, the exploding supernova gas would expand, thin, cool and fill a certain void of outer space. And when collisions with interstellar clouds occurred, the clouds and gas would heat. And there would be renewed emissions of radio waves, X-rays, infrared and ultraviolet radiations, microwaves and light. And the exploding gas, like unto a broom, would sweep up interstellar gas and leave behind a trail of disruption and electromagnetic radiation. And the clouds and supernova remnant would be visible, like unto gigantic fingerprints, for several times ten-thousand years.79
     Now eventually, collisions would retard and cool exploding supernova gas. And electrons, nuclei and atoms from the supernova would mix with interstellar clouds of molecules and dust. And a dim but luminous nebula would then remain. And a distorted supernova remnant several times ten-light years wide would then prevail.

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76 These were electrons outside atoms that moved freely through the medium.
77 There were also some synchrotron radiations in the visible, infrared and microwave regions of the electromagnetic spectrum.
78 Later, more collisions with interstellar gas would produce more dimples in the sphere of supernova gas and it would eventually look like a giant gaseous walnut.
79 The emissions would be readable by those who chose to read. And the supernova remnant would recite a tale to those who chose to listen.

 
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The Old Testament                                       383

Chapter XXIII: The Supernova: The Almighty Alchemist

And the nebula would contain a legacy of elements from hydrogen and helium, from carbon through uranium. Thus this and other supernovas would provide the interstellar regions of the Universe with almost all the non-light elements.80
     For millions of years would the pulsar beam its signal. And the loss of energy in emissions would slow its spin.81 And eventually, only once every several seconds would it spin. And its broadcast signal then would cease. And the pulsar would become a quiescent neutron star.
     Now the stellar death, which had been disruptive and destructive, produced a benefit. And like unto dead vegetation, which rots and forms the soil for other plants, the supernova would become a source for new creations. Now Big Bang nucleosynthesis made the first three elements, hydrogen, helium and lithium. And the giant star made medium-weight elements like carbon, oxygen, nitrogen and iron. And the explosion scattered them through outer space, where they settled and joined intragalactic gas and dust. And eventually, the mixture would collapse and form a planetary-stellar system. And a new star, rich in medium-weight elements, would thus be born.

Daffodils shall bloom
around the tombstones of the dead.

Chapter XXIV: Other Supernovas

And let it be known to thee and all around thee that supernovas exploded often in the early Universe. And that supernovas have exploded throughout cosmic history and will continue to explode. And that they will erupt wherever stars are found – in galactic active nuclei, in the spiral arms of galaxies, in globular and open clusters, in star-rich nebulae, in stars within galactic halos, and so on. And let it be known that supernovas supply material and elements to build new stars.

Dead plants shall leave behind
the seeds for future generations.

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80 Exceptions would be for beryllium and boron. Most beryllium and boron would be made by cosmic ray collisions of protons with nitrogen-fourteen and carbon-twelve.
81 In the supernova explosion of this Book of Exodus X, the initial spinning rate was thirty times a second. In other cases, the initial rate varied from one time to one-hundred times a second.

 
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384                        The Bible According to Einstein

     And the supernova in this Book of Exodus was relatively mild. Now if the mass of the original star had been less, smaller would have been its iron core. The initial shock wave would not have stalled inside the iron core. And it would not have rested and lost energy. Instead, it would have passed directly through the iron core and out. And the pressure of the shock wave would have had more power, the force on nuclei and gas would have been much stronger, and material would have been ejected outward harder. Thus the explosion would have been severer – the supernova would have been significantly brighter.
     And if the mass of the original star had been larger, twenty-five solar masses or more, the iron core would have been a little bigger. And the neutron star would have weighed twice the Sun or more. In cooling and contracting, it would have shrunk significantly smaller. And its pull of gravity would have been so powerful that nothing, including light, would have been able to escape. A black hole a few kilometers in size would have been produced. It would have been an invisible stellar cinder.
     And let it be known to thee and all around thee that a star with less than eight solar masses shall collapse but not explode. And it shall burn its hydrogen, and perhaps some helium and carbon, but when its nuclear fuel is spent, the pressure of electrons shall prevent complete collapse. Such a star shall shrink until quite small. A white dwarf shall be its name. And it shall burn its nuclei until it is too cool to burn them any more. And then its light shall be extinguished. And the glow shall fade and disappear like the embers in a fire. And without light, a star is by definition dead. The corpse of such a star shall be a brown dwarf.
     Now among white dwarfs, which do not explode when they collapse, some barely shall support their heavy mass. And of these stars, some shall have a binary companion. And if the white dwarf’s force of gravity draws matter from its companion into the white dwarf’s oxygen-and-carbon core, and if the accretion of this matter pushes the white dwarf’s mass beyond its critical mass limit so that the pressure of electrons can no longer maintain weight, then the white dwarf shall contract and heat up quickly. And the nuclear chemistry of the star shall be upset. And higher temperatures shall provoke a flurry of nuclear-fusion chain-reactions. And tremendous energy production shall blast the star apart. And this shall be a type-one supernova. And although the total energy released shall be one-hundred times smaller than in a type-two supernova, more visible light shall be emitted. Thus optically, a type-one supernova shall typically outshine a type-two supernova by five times.

Chapter XXV: Supernovas and Life

And in the first three minutes, Nature made the hydrogen and helium, which would make stars. And in the billions of years thereafter, stars made the moderately heavy elements from carbon all the way to cobalt. Next Nature made some stars collapse and then explode in supernovas. And the elements were spilled in outer space. And Nature took the elements from all the corners of the Universe and made dust, atoms, molecules and protostars.
     And someday the hydrogen, nitrogen, iron, carbon, oxygen and other elements, which supernovas tossed into the open spaces of the Universe, would come together in the form of planets like the Earth. And later, carbon, oxygen and hydrogen would form organic molecules. And such organic molecules would mix and make a macroscopic structure which would be a form of life.


 
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