Chapter 3: Neutrons
If what I have said so far about the neutrogenic shell were the end of the story, something very curious—and contrary to experimental evidence—would have to be the case. We’ve seen that the pressure on the shell is a universal constant. And that seems to imply that the rate of neutrogenesis per unit area of any shell is also a universal constant. But if that were true, large stars would live longer than small ones, and exactly the opposite has been observed. Massive stars burn through their hydrogen in only a few million years, whereas stars much smaller than our sun have been around since stars first formed, twelve to thirteen billion years ago. This is puzzling because the ratio of a sphere’s volume to its surface area increases as its diameter increases. This implies that a greater percentage of a small star’s protons is burning on the shell at any given time. And if the shell must maintain a constant pressure, it seems that large stars must take longer than small ones to burn up their protons.
The answer to this puzzle has to do with the other major equilibrium condition in a star—its hydrostatic equilibrium. A star’s neutrogenic shell, by liberating partettes that gradually expand, generates an intense spacetime pressure gradient, and hence a powerful gravitational field. Indeed, this pressure gradient is the star’s gravitational field. The larger the shell, the more powerful the field. And the more powerful the field, the less mass must be located above it, in the star’s mantle, in order to generate the necessary pressure to trigger neutrogenesis on the shell. Because of this variation in gravitational field strength, the same quantity of matter has a greater effect in a large star than it does in a small star. Put simply, the same quantity of mass is heavier on a large star than on a small one. As a result, the ratio of mass in a star’s mantle to the mass in its core is inversely proportionate to the total mass of the star. Large stars have relatively thin mantles, while small stars have relatively thick ones. Consequently, the spacetime liberated from protons on the neutrogenic shell has to fight its way past much more mass in order to escape from a small star than it does to escape from a large one. Or, to put it another way, the fraction of the equilibrium pressure on the shell of a given star that is contributed by the mantle is inversely proportionate to the star’s mass. In a large star, it is primarily its cosmological equilibrium that maintains the shell pressure. In a small star, the hydrostatic equilibrium is dominant. Essentially, the liberated spacetime in a small star is trapped under the massive mantle, right next to the shell, and it takes eons for it to percolate up and out of the star. This state of affairs means that small stars only burn a tiny fraction—compared to large stars—of their hydrogen, per unit area, in order to maintain their shells’ pressure. Therefore, small stars live much longer than large ones, despite having a lower ratio of core mass to shell surface email@example.com.