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djublonskopf t1_jdjofch wrote

The idea is, if protons do indeed randomly decay (over extremely long periods of time), then a neutron star will very slowly lose mass via this process, with protons in its thin outer crust very occasionally evaporating. After about 10^(38) years, enough mass will have been lost that the neutron star finally reaches a tipping point where it is light enough to not be a neutron star anymore. So it explodes into a white dwarf.


awawe t1_jdkgvaz wrote

>After about 10^(38) years,

Where does this figure come from, given that we don't yet know whether protons decay or not, let alone their half life?


saxophysics t1_jdl559y wrote

There is a lower bound on the half-life, so I’m assuming this number is using that lower bound. The correct statement would then be after at least 10^38 years


D3f4lt_player t1_jdjrgvw wrote

oh so it will take a long time for protons to decay and the universe go back to a soup of subatomic particles (this time the soup is cold). then the black holes take over because these abnormalities don't care about atomic structures, as long as it got mass or energy it's gonna be eaten


mfb- t1_jdkg2fd wrote

They will take over only in the sense that they will still be around, there won't be matter left for them to capture - it will all be spread out too far at that time.


kamill85 t1_jdlcc9f wrote

Wait, but Neutron Star, proton decay or not, losses mass anyway, every second, because all the emitted EM equals loss of mass/energy. I'm pretty sure it would lose a sizeable chunk by 10^38, or by the time it cools down (if ever)


loki130 t1_jdltbsg wrote

That emission comes out of their heat and angular energy; they'll slow, cool, and dim long before that point.