Physics  College of Engineering 

Researchers Show Exploding Stars Bend Space and Time

Dropping a pebble into a pond sets off a ripple in the surface of the
water. Similarly, according to University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
graduate student David Falta, the explosion of some stars sets off a
wave in space and time. In his work with University of Massachusetts
Dartmouth physics professors Robert Fisher and Gaurav Khanna, Falta
considered the explosion of dense, compact aged stellar cinders, known
as white dwarfs. The explosion of a white dwarf star releases a
tremendous amount of energy over the span of a few seconds, comparable
to the entire energy that will be output by our sun over its entire
lifetime. Scientists term this explosion a supernova. The researchers
demonstrated for the first time that these exploding white dwarf stars
can generate a ripple in space and time strong enough to be detected
by future spaceborne instruments. If detected, these waves in space
and time may yield insights into the mysterious very first seconds of
the supernova -- into the very heart of the explosion itself --
shielded from us in ordinary visible light.

This research has been accepted for publication in the physics journal
Physical Review Letters.


Author:  "Robert Fisher [Contact]"
Date:  29-3-2011
Submitted by:  Olivia Farinha
Department:  College Of Engineering - Phy

Contact Info: