Electroweak stars: Electroweak Matter Destruction as Exotic Stellar Engine

Recording Details

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PIRSA Number: 
10030003

Abstract

Stellar evolution from a protostar to neutron star is of one of the best
studied subjects in modern astrophysics. Yet, it appears that there is still
a lot to learn about the extreme conditions where the fundamental particle physics meets strong gravity regime. After all of the thermonuclear fuel is spent, and
after the supernova explosion, but before the remaining mass crosses its own
Schwarzschild radius, the temperature of the central core of the star might
become higher than the electroweak symmetry restoration temperature. The
source of energy, which can at least temporarily balance gravity, are baryon
number violating instanton processes which are basically unsuppressed at
temperatures above the electroweak scale. We constructed a solution to the
Oppenheimer-Volkoff equation which describes such a star. The energy release
rate is enormous at the core, but gravitational redshift and the enhanced
neutrino interaction cross section at these densities make the energy
release rate moderate at the surface of the star. The lifetime of this new
quasi-equilibrium can be more than ten million years, which is long enough
to represent a new stage in the evolution of a star.