The Physics Factbook™
Edited by Glenn Elert -- Written by his students
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|Bibliographic Entry||Result |
|Roliff, James William. Modern Physics from Å to Z0. New York: Wiley, 1994: 544.||"The star has become so dense, about 109 kg/m3"||106 g/cm3|
|Lerner, Rita & George Trigg. Encyclopedia of Physics. New York: VCH, 1990: 809.||"Central densities in the range of 105–109 g/cm3."||105–109 g/cm3|
|Jastrow, Robert. Red Giants and White Dwarfs. New York: Harper Row, 1967: 47.||"… have a density of ten tons per cubic inch."||4.55 × 106 g/cm3|
|Burnham, Robert. Burnham's Celestial Handbook. New York: Dover, 1978: 402.||"… weighing about 11,000 tons to the cubic inch."||5.0 × 109 g/cm3|
|Lang, Kenneth R. and Gingerich, Owen. A Source Book in Astronomy and Astrophysics. London: Harvard University Press, 1979: 430.||"… about 100,000 gm cm-3"||105 g/cm3|
White dwarf stars are stars that are at the ends of their life, having exhaustedthe hydrogen and helium in their interiors by nuclear reactions. They are thoughtto be the final evolutionary stage for stars whose masses are less than 1.4 timesthe sun's mass. Their future is to cool down very slowly until they become blackdwarfs, unable to radiate any more energy.
Most people look at the properties of a white dwarf and say that it is prettymuch unclear as to a definite calculation of its density. Science is only as accurateas the methods and materials that the scientists of the day are using. Our presentknowledge based upon scientific instruments is far from definite. Many books andreferences show their calculations to be final. The accuracy of this informationis debatable. In calculating the density of a white dwarf star, sources have rangedfrom 104 g/cm3 to 109 g/cm3.
Michael Scott Erber -- 1996
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