Heavy element surprise

Again a surprise in astrophysics (see the popular articles here and here and the slides here. It is really amazing how little we actually know about the mechanism producing heaver elements.

  1. Big bang produces H, He, and also Be but in trace amounts. Heavier elements are absent and are believed to be produced in stars. How the heavier elements are formed? This is the problem. One proposal is that during super-nova explosions so called r-process produces heavier elements outside supernova but SN1987A did not provide support for this.

    One proposal is that the heavier elements are produced in the collisions of neutron stars. A further proposal is that they are produced in collapsing accretin disk when neutron star collapses to blackhole.

  2. Standard hypothesis is that so called population III stars produce elements heavier than Be. These stars would be very large and very short lived - age would have been around 105-106 years. Not a single population III star has been however observed but one could blame their short ages as a reason for this. So called population II stars would be their successors and have been observed. The amount of heavier elements in them is still much lower than in Sun.
  3. Astrophysicists Frebel and Ezzeddine have studied the spectral signatures of a population II star HE 1327-2326 and discovered it to contain unusually large amount of Zinc which is heavier that iron. This looks very strange since elements heavier than Fe should be produced much later.
It has been proposed that the first stars did not explode in a spherically symmetric manner but generated jets in opposite directions, and Frebel and Ezzeddine suggests that this might explain the strange findings. Jets would have distributed heavier elements from population III stars stars to surroundings in a very undemocratic manner. Although the total amount of heavier elements would have been small, the density of heavier elements in the birthplaces of population II stars along the jets would have been much higher than spherically symmetric model predicts.This could explain the high amount of Zinc.

While reading the article, I realized that the jetty picture is very natural in TGD framework.

  1. Asymmetric jets are very natural in TGD vision about the formation of galaxies as tangles associated with long cosmic string known to form linear structuress. This picture solves the galactic dark matter problem: dark matter and energy reside at cosmic strings thickened to flux tubes and create just the desired gravitational potential to explain flat velocity spectrum of distant stars. That there would be no dark matter halo conforms with the various findings strongly suggesting that this halo does not exist.

    Flux tubes of long cosmic strings are what I call wormhole magnetic fields that is have same M4 projection except in the regions where there are galaxies and stars. Wormhole magnetic field portions outside galaxies would be essentially dark energy since test particles do not experience the associated magnetic and electric fields. However, long range gravitational fields are created and make themselves visible as flat velocity spectrum around spiral galaxies.

    The cosmic strings would have thickened and liberated energy in the process and given rise to ordinary visible matter: this would be analogous to the decay of inflaton field except that the magnetic energy and volume energy characterized by length scale dependent cosmological constant would replace energy of inflaton field.

    The topology of tangles consisting of a looped monopole flux tube carrying monopole flux resembled the field line topology of dipole magnetic field. Stars and eventually even planets would have ormed as sub-tangles around the flux tubes. Universe would be like highly neural network with quantum coherence even in cosmic scales instead of uncorrelated galaxies and stars.

  2. The explosion of very earlier star like entity would have automatically created jets propagating along the flux tubes emanating from so that instead of being distributed in a spherically symmetric manner the elements in the earlier star would have propagated directly to the birth places of new stars along the flux tube having the exploded star as tangle. This would changes completely the view about star formation.
But what these very earlier stars might have been?
  1. TGD based view about dark suggests a new mechanism for the production of heavier elements (see this). What I call dark nuclei (having non-standard value heff=n× h0 of Planck constant) would be dark protons sequences along flux tubes and have nuclear binding energy much smaller than ordinary nuclei.

    Pollack effect (see this) would give rise to these dark nuclei and they would be present in living matter and give a fundamental realization of genetic code: ordinary matter with ordinary value of Planck constant would mimic the dynamics of magnetic body having higher "IQ" (higher evolutionary level in number theoretical evolutionary hierarchy defined by extensions of rationals see this) definable as heff/h0=n and identifiable as dimension of extension of rationals.

    The connection between biology and astrophysics looks of course strange but this is what the fractality of TGD Universe predicts. Same cosmic strings thickened to flux tubes are in all length scales and basic mechanisms are the same.

  2. Dark nuclei would have been formed first and caused pre-heating during the pre-stellar phase. As the temperature became high enough, ordinary fusion reactions started and stars were born. The spontaneous transformation to ordinary nuclei liberating almost all nuclear binding energy would have also occurred and is proposed as a model for "cold fusion" reported to produce heavy elements.
  3. One can ask why so much Zinc in HE 1327-2326? Was "cold fusion" involved already at that time as TGD based model indeed proposes? Could the postulated but unseen population III stars be pre-stellar objects generating heavy elements by "cold fusion" and spraying them along flux tubes directly to the new stars rather than dispersing them to all possible directions? The Universe would have been a network analogous to neural system rather than soup and the formation of stars would have been a collective process with correlations in super-astrophysical length scales.

    This is the also the picture about living mater provided by TGD, where flux tube network makes possible for reacting molecules to find each other and also provides a mechanism of catalysis based on the reduction of heff liberating energy allowing to overcome the potential walls preventing the chemical reactions.

See the chapter Cold Fusion Again, the article with the same title, or the short article Heavy element surprise .