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|brown dwarfs ||equation of state ||hydrostatic equilibrium
|ideal gas law ||mass density ||mathematical models
|opacity ||pressure ||temperature
- How can you determine what the interiors of stars are like?
- What three quantities does an equation of state relate?
- What is the equation of state for
gases? (Almost any gas has this equation of state, even the air in your
automobile tires or air-filled ball.)
- Use the equation of state of a gas to explain in what way the temperature of the
gas changes as the pressure exerted on the gas is increased. Explain why the pressure in
your automobile tires is slightly less when they are cold than right after a long drive.
- What is being equilibrated in hydrostatic equilibrium? How
does hydrostatic equilibrium explain why the temperature and density increases
inward toward the core of a star?
- How does hydrostatic equilibrium control the fusion rate in the Sun?
- What would happen
to the size of a star if its core steadily produced more energy than
it did at some earlier time (e.g., when a main sequence star becomes a red giant)?
- What would happen to the size of a star if its core steadily
produced less energy than it did at some earlier time (e.g., when a star stops
fusing nuclei in its core)?
- Do photons produced in the core zip right out from the Sun or does it take longer?
- Why do brown dwarfs not undergo fusion?
- What are some basic differences between stars and planets?
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last updated: 24 May 2001
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