Black holes could be used to produce gold and silver, study finds


Black holes are an interesting topic of discussion for astronomy enthusiasts around the world. Despite decades of research and study, there is still a lot of mystery about the functionality of black holes. And a new revelation from a team of German researchers poses a new question about the mysterious holes in space. A report published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society claims that black holes are capable of forging heavier metallic elements like gold and silver. Now, these elements require extreme astrophysical conditions to appear and the research team at GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung claim that black holes can provide this condition.

To come to the conclusion that the black hole had the ability to provide the extreme conditions required to create elements like gold, scientists compared the condition of the black hole to other cosmic conditions like collisions of neutron stars. , Science Alert reported.

In collaboration with Japanese and Belgian experts, the research team carried out computer simulations to show the synthesis of heavy elements in black holes.

The goal, however, remained to show the creation of metals in newborn black holes, especially those orbiting by an accreting disk of hot, dense matter. These disks facilitate the formation of excess neutrons which accelerate the conversion of protons to neutrons. The researchers noted that the presence of neutrons in large numbers was the basic condition for the synthesis of heavy elements.

Simply put, black holes swallow dust and gas from the environment and turn into chemical elements

Speaking about the results, research team member Dr Oliver Just said the study systematically studied the conversion rate of neutrons and protons and found that black hole disks remained neutron rich until whatever the requisite is there.

He added that the most important thing for the creation of elements in a black hole is the total mass of the disk. A larger disk will mean that more neutrons are formed from protons through the capture of electrons under the emission of neutrinos and are available for heavy element synthesis through the r process.

But in the event that the mass of the disc is too high, the reverse reaction plays an increased role so that more neutrinos are recaptured by the neutrons before they leave the disc. These neutrons are then converted back to protons.

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