Are black holes gold producers? This is the recent theory of an international team of researchers, led by the GSI research institute in Germany. Thanks to computer simulations, they managed to recreate the cosmic environment during the formation of a black hole… And although it remains to be confirmed, their finding is astonishing.
The formation of black holes at stake
So what did the researchers discover during this work? “We systematically studied neutron and proton conversion rates for a large number of black hole configurations using elaborate computer simulations, and we found that accretion disks are very rich in neutrons when certain conditions are met,” explained the study’s lead author, Oliver Just.
Didn’t you understand? this is normal. Already, when we talk about the accretion disk, we are talking about the structure that forms from matter orbiting a central celestial object. This object is often a proto-star, a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole.
A piece of black hole information attracts all the matter around it. In doing so, it causes large emissions of neutrino electrons, which have the effect of transforming the protons of an atom into neutrons. And bam, it’s not chocapic, but heavy metals. This is how metals are produced, such as gold, silver, or uranium.
The accretion disk, a “decisive factor”
Indeed, according to Olivier Just, the total mass of the accretion disk is indeed“the decisive factor” of this cosmic process at the origin of the production of heavy metals. However, for the researcher, the more massive the latter, the more we observe a significant formation of neutrons.
The mass must therefore be substantial, but not too much. Because if it weighs more than 10% of the mass of the Sun, the reaction is quite different, even the opposite.
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