White dwarfs rank among the hottest things in the universe.In the early years of the life of the universe ,universe was very hot and the Higgs field was deactivated causing all the particles generated by quantum flunctuations to travel at the speed of light(being massless).Is the Higgs field inside a white dwarf also deactivated so any pair of particles-antiparticles will travel at the speed of light?

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ "White dwarfs rank among the hottest things in the universe" - not quite. Neutron stars start at $10^{11} 𝐾$ or more, though the loss of neutrinos rapidly cools them to a $10^7 𝐾$ surface temperature, which is equivalent to a white dwarf's core temperature. However, a white dwarf's surface temperature is several orders below that. Even conceptually, you'd expect neutron stars to be hotter than white dwarfs given their much greater density and level of degeneracy. $\endgroup$ – Chappo Hasn't Forgotten Monica Jun 25 '19 at 5:08
  • $\begingroup$ Rank amongst the hottest thing , they are not the hottest:P $\endgroup$ – Warrior Jun 25 '19 at 17:01

In a word, no.

The universe was certainly quite hot for the first few hundred thousand years, but most of the important events of the Big Bang happened in the first few seconds, when the universe was extremely hot.

By the time the universe was about 10 seconds old it was cool enough for protons and neutrons to combine into deuterium and thence helium, as well as a little bit of lithium-7. (Small amounts of tritium and beryllium-7 were also produced, but they are both radioactive with short halflives, and they soon decayed to helium & lithium, respectively).

That phase, known as Big Bang nucleosynthesis, lasted until the universe was about 20 minutes old.

Particles acquired mass via the Higgs mechanism when the universe was only about 1 picosecond ($10^{-12}$ seconds) old, if not earlier. That phase is known as the electroweak epoch. At the start of that epoch, the temperature of the universe was around $10^{28}$K. The temperature in the core of a white dwarf is in the order of $10^7$K, which is far too cool to disturb the Higgs field.

| improve this answer | |
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ FWIW, there are stars with much hotter cores than white dwarfs. Stars with a mass of 130 to 150 $M\odot$ (solar masses) can achieve core temperatures of $3\times10^8$K towards the end of their life. Most of the photons produced in the core at that stage are gamma rays with enough energy to induce the production of antimatter. The subsequent reactions blow the star completely apart in a pair-instability supernova. $\endgroup$ – PM 2Ring Jun 24 '19 at 17:59

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.