Space accelerator accelerates particles to theoretical limit

(ORDO NEWS) — Using special telescopes, the researchers observed a cosmic particle accelerator the likes of which had never been seen before.

Observations made by the HESS gamma-ray observatory in Namibia show for the first time how particles are accelerated in a process known as a nova explosion, which involves powerful eruptions on the surface of a white dwarf.

The new one generates a shock wave that rolls through the environment of the material located in the vicinity, accelerating particles of this material to extreme speeds.

To the surprise of the authors of the work, this new one, called the Armiger RS, causes particles to accelerate to speeds close to the theoretical limit, which corresponds to ideal conditions.

White dwarfs are the dying remains of stars that have collapsed under the influence of their own gravity and turned into compact objects.

Novels occur, for example, when a white dwarf is in a binary system with a larger star, and material from the companion star flows onto the white dwarf under the influence of the latter’s powerful gravity.

After a critical amount of material accumulates on the surface of a white dwarf, a thermonuclear explosion occurs.

Some of the new ones are repetitive. Squire’s RS is just such a recurring novelty; explosions on its surface occur with a frequency of once every 15-20 years, explained the lead author of the new study Alison Mitchell (Alison Mitchell) from the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany.

The researchers found that the particles were accelerated to energies several hundred times higher than the highest particle energies accelerated by nova explosions ever observed in the history of astronomy.

In addition, the energy released by the explosion was very efficiently converted into the energy of accelerated protons and heavy nuclei of material, so that the accelerated particles reached the maximum speeds allowed by the theory.

The discovery of this fact is of great importance to scientists, as it could mean that more extreme cosmic explosions, such as supernovae, can also achieve maximum energy transformation when transferred to accelerated particles.


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