Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Discovery Of Supernovae "Fossils" Challenges Conventional Chemistry

Date:
March 1, 1999
Source:
Clemson University
Summary:
Astrophysicists at Clemson University, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Harvard University discovered a new chemical sequence during research into how large carbon molecules might form in exploding stars known as supernovae. The finding is casting doubt on the long-held chemical equilibrium theory and clearing the way for a new field -- kinetic chemistry.

CLEMSON -- Astrophysicists at Clemson University, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Harvard University discovered a new chemical sequence during research into how large carbon molecules might form in exploding stars known as supernovae.

The finding is casting doubt on the long-held chemical equilibrium theory and clearing the way for a new field -- kinetic chemistry.

"We believe we have uncovered new truths of chemistry," said Clemson's Donald Clayton, an internationally known theoretical astrophysicist. "Some controversial aspects of supernovae, including information about their core or the amount of radioactivity they generate, can be better evaluated with this kinetic chemical theory." The research team included Clayton, ORNL's Weihong Liu and Harvard's Alexander Dalgarno.

Their work, to be published in the Feb. 26 issue of Science, has far-reaching implications for physics, chemistry, astronomy, meteoritic and planetary sciences. Science is the weekly journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Scientists had previously believed it impossible to convert cosmic carbon from a hot gas into a solid if there was more oxygen than carbon present. Conventional theory held that any free carbon atoms in the supernova gas should have reacted with the more abundant oxygen atoms to form carbon monoxide.

But the researchers discovered that supernova radioactivity breaks the strong chemical bond that holds carbon and oxygen together. Energetic electrons and ions allow carbon atoms to escape the pairing mechanism, leaving plenty of atomic carbon that can condense into solid particles and eventually be ejected from the supernova.

The breakthrough that led to the research are tiny grains of "star dust" found inside meteorites that fell to earth about a million years ago.

"These supernova graphite particles are the oldest material fossils that humankind can study, older than our solar system, at least twice as old as the oldest rocks on Earth and also twice as old as the earliest biological fossil algae found on Earth," said Clayton, who first predicted the clues that would identify the starry fossils.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Clemson University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Clemson University. "Discovery Of Supernovae "Fossils" Challenges Conventional Chemistry." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 March 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/03/990301074455.htm>.
Clemson University. (1999, March 1). Discovery Of Supernovae "Fossils" Challenges Conventional Chemistry. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/03/990301074455.htm
Clemson University. "Discovery Of Supernovae "Fossils" Challenges Conventional Chemistry." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/03/990301074455.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Tesla, Panasonic Ink Deal To Make Huge Battery 'Gigafactory'

Tesla, Panasonic Ink Deal To Make Huge Battery 'Gigafactory'

Newsy (July 31, 2014) The deal will help build a massive battery factory that Tesla says will produce 500,000 lithium batteries by 2020. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

AP (July 30, 2014) British officials said on Wednesday that driverless cars will be tested on roads in as many as three cities in a trial program set to begin in January. Officials said the tests will last up to three years. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
7 Ways to Use Toothpaste: Howdini Hacks

7 Ways to Use Toothpaste: Howdini Hacks

Howdini (July 30, 2014) Fresh breath and clean teeth are great, but have you ever thought, "my toothpaste could be doing more". Well, it can! Lots of things! Howdini has 7 new uses for this household staple. Video provided by Howdini
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smoked: 2015 Ducati Diavel Vs 2014 Chevy Corvette Stingray Drag Race

Smoked: 2015 Ducati Diavel Vs 2014 Chevy Corvette Stingray Drag Race

Cycle World (July 30, 2014) The Bonnier Motorcycle Group presents Smoked; a three part video series. In this episode the 2015 Ducati Diavel takes on the 2014 Chevy Corvette Stingray Video provided by Cycle World
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins