UG101: Recycling the Universe:
Neutron Stars, Black Holes, and the Science of Stuff
Ben Franklin Centre for Theoretical Research
PO Box 27, Subiaco, WA 6008, Australia.
The Universe is Infinite in Space and Time
The concept that our Universe is infinite in space and time is slowly, slowly, coming into both general and expert acceptance.
The still widespread views that the Universe had a beginning (such as the "Big Bang") and has been expanding ever since (the "Expanding Universe") are slowly crumbling. There are many scientific reasons why these concepts cannot stand to critical examination -- as just one example, if the Universe was really expanding, it would be the only known instance of a breakdown in the Law of Conservation of Mass/Energy.
There is a more philosophical reason for accepting that the Universe is infinite. That is, it gives a picture of the Universe which is closer to matching the new data, theories, and models which are continually coming to the fore, than do older concepts. That is a basic part of the scientific approach -- if theory A gives a closer match to the observed facts than do theories B or C, then A should be accepted -- or at least until a better-matching theory is put forward.
An Infinite Universe requires that Galaxies are being Recycled
For the Universe to be infinite in time, it follows that while its very-large-scale structure is unchanging, at smaller scales its components, such as galaxies, must be in process of recycling. Planets, stars, galaxies, and groupings of these clearly have life cycles -- some are young, others are old. It's like the trees in a vast jungle -- viewed from high above, the jungle seems unchanging, but down on the ground there is constant birth, growth, and death.
To understand how the Universe is undergoing recycling, we need to understand how the substances which make it up are being changed from one form to another, or one class to a different class.
Sometimes we might call a particular substance Energy, at another time we might refer to it as Matter or Mass. It is basic scientific law that the total amount of energy and mass in a closed system is always the same -- it's called the Law of Conservation of Mass/Energy. It's also the same as the First Law of Thermodynamics. No example is known in real science of this law ever being broken.
Of course, one type of energy can be transformed into another, one sort of mass changed into a different sort, and mass can be converted to energy and vice versa. The famous Einstein equation, E=mc2, defines how a given amount of energy is equivalent to a given amount of mass.
In the recycling of the Universe, some of its substances may change from one form to another. Basically, there are 4 types of substance ("Stuff") involved. Some of these types are now well known and described by accurate physical equations, while others have only become known to science within the last 100 years,
The Science of Stuff
We can categorise the four classes of things involved in recycling the Universe as four types of Stuff, calling them Stuff1, Stuff2, Stuff3, and Stuff4. In the real Universe, many of the things we encounter will include or have aspects of more than one kind of Stuff.
Typical examples of the different Stuffs are: electromagnetic radiation for Stuff1, standard matter such as chemical elements for Stuff2, neutron star material for Stuff3, and black hole material for Stuff4.
Stuff1: Light and other forms of electromagnetic radiation
We know a great deal about the type of mass/energy we call light. Our knowledge here received a huge boost from the work of the English genius Isaac Newton, who published various editions of his book Opticks in the years around 1700 AD.
Figure UG101-F1. Isaac Newton in 1689. From .
This period was the time when the scientific method as we know it really began. It was also the time when the concept of "doing science" as an occupation for anyone with the interest and means for it first started -- although at first with the name "natural philosophy".
It was also a transition period into the modern world. Opticks was Isaac Newton's second major work, and was written in English. That might seem normal, but his first major book, Principia, was published in Latin in 1687 (the full title was Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica -- Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy).
Newton's book on Optics, published in 1704, was written for the general informed public, and is still very readable today. In it he describes all the experiments he had done with prisms and mirrors, in sufficient detail that readers could easily repeat the same experiments themselves in confirming Newton's conclusions and theories.
Of course Newton worked mostly with the visible spectrum, actually only a very small part of the whole electromagnetic spectrum, which runs from very-low frequency radio waves (low energy) up to X-rays and gamma rays (high energy), originally regarded as components of cosmic rays (which we'll look at later).
Figure UG101-F2. Stuff1: The Electromagnetic Spectrum. From .
From the chart it can be seen there is a lot more electromagnetic energy in the Universe in addition to that which our eyes can see -- the optical stuff is the little "visible" tag between infrared and ultraviolet.
It's only over the many years since Newton that we have become familiar with the parts of the spectrum outside the visible range, those that we can see with our eyes. The first new part was the infrared or heat band,. When researchers who had followed Newton's techniques of diffracting sunlight out into bands -- "the rainbow" -- they noticed that if they held their hand at a point just beyond the red end of the rainbow, they could feel heat.
Radio waves were first predicted in 1867 by James Clerk Maxwell, and their existence demonstrated in 1887 by Heinrich Hertz. The shorter-wavelength part of the radio spectrum is also known as microwaves. Radio waves were first used for communication in the mid 1890s by Guglielmo Marconi.
Microwaves were first used for radar in World War 2 (1939-1945). The utilization of microwaves is only one step in the gradual evolution of the concepts and applications of electromagnetic waves. Radio waves are at the low-energy, long-wavelength end of the spectrum.
At the high-energy, short-wavelength end of the electromagnetic spectrum there are the ultraviolet, X-ray, and gamma-ray bands. X-rays were discovered in 1895 by Wilhelm Roentgen, a Professor at Wuerzburg University in Germany. Gamma-rays were first observed in 1900 by French chemist Paul Villard, when he was investigating radiation from radium.
Also at the high-energy end of the spectrum are cosmic rays. Cosmic rays were discovered in 1912 by Victor Hess, when he found that an electroscope discharged more rapidly as he ascended in a balloon. He attributed this to a source of radiation entering the atmosphere from above, and in 1936 was awarded the Nobel prize for his discovery.
Cosmic rays were initially treated as a mix of very-high-energy radiation and very-fast moving particles (Stuff1 and Stuff2), though the modern trend is to restrict the term to particles. Even so, in these ultra-high-energy regions, the distinction between radiation and matter is not always clear, with particles transforming into radiation and vice versa.
Astronomy and Stuff1
The visible spectrum was the fundamental province of the science of astronomy, going back at least to the Babylonians and early Chinese of some 5000-6000 years ago.
Everything changed with the development of the telescope. In 1610, the Italian astronomer and mathematician Galileo Galilei made a discovery that shook the world and changed mankind's view of our place in the universe. He found that the planet Jupiter had other smaller bodies circling around it, the first moons known after our own.
It was less than a hundred years ago that astronomers began to get familiar with other parts of the spectrum, firstly with radio waves. Radio waves from space were first detected by engineer Karl Guthe Jansky in 1932 at Bell Telephone Laboratories in Holmdel, New Jersey, using an antenna built to study noise in radio receivers. The first purpose-built radio telescope was a 9-meter parabolic dish constructed by radio amateur Grote Reber in his back yard in Wheaton, Illinois in 1937. The sky survey he did with it is often considered the beginning of the field of radio astronomy .
Figure UG101-F3. A large radio telescope antenna (at Parkes, Australia) with green grass and small shrubs in the foreground. From .
Although infrared radiation was known to exist from the 1800s, detecting it from space on the Earth's surface is difficult, because our surroundings bathe us in infrared (we usually refer to it as "heat"). In the 1950s, scientists used lead-sulphide detectors to detect infrared radiation from space. These detectors were cooled with liquid nitrogen .
Ground-based telescopes were the first to be used to observe outer space in infrared. Their popularity increased in the mid-1960s. These telescopes have limitations because water vapour in the Earth's atmosphere absorbs infrared radiation. So ground-based infrared telescopes tend to be placed on high mountains and in very dry climates to improve visibility .
Placing infrared telescopes in space completely eliminates interference from the Earth's atmosphere. One of the most significant infrared telescope projects was the Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS) that launched in 1983. It revealed information about other galaxies, as well as information about the centre of our galaxy, the Milky Way .
At the higher-energy end of the spectrum, astronomers study ultraviolet, x-ray, and gamma-ray bands. Light at these wavelengths also is absorbed by the Earth's atmosphere, so observations at these wavelengths must be performed from the upper atmosphere or from space .
Sometimes the information available is based on rather rare events or on unusual objects. An example is the gamma-ray band. Gamma-ray astronomers cannot perform detailed measurements of a continuous regular stream of incoming gamma rays, as they can for light, because the number of sources known is far smaller and diverse.
So, how much do we know?
Obviously visible-light astronomy is the best-known area at present, followed by radio astronomy. Many of the other areas have only seen rapid development since we have been able to put specialized telescopes up into space.
There is little controversy over what has been said so far, although our understanding of the higher-energy radiation bands, and of cosmic rays (particles which have similar high energies) is still rather thin and somewhat speculative.
For example, if you google Where do cosmic rays come from?, you do not get a cut-and-dried answer based on actual measurements, as you might from other areas of science. Instead, the answers given, as in , are reasonable deductions from limited evidence.
The general conclusions about cosmic rays  are that they do not originate from the Sun, but from supernova explosions and other sources, both within our galaxy and beyond -- cosmic rays hit the Earth from all directions in space.
Again, with gamma rays, there are no general large sources available for regular measurement. Instead, there are brief sources which flare up suddenly and then disappear, called Gamma Ray Bursts (GRBs). An extract from  gives a feel for our knowledge in this area.
"GRBs were first detected in 1967 by the Vela satellites, a series of satellites designed to detect covert nuclear weapons tests. Hundreds of theoretical models were proposed to explain these bursts in the years following their discovery, such as collisions between comets and neutron stars. Little information was available to verify these models until the 1997 detection of the first X-ray and optical afterglows and direct measurement of their redshifts using optical spectroscopy, and thus their distances and energy outputs.
These discoveries, and subsequent studies of the galaxies and supernovae associated with the bursts, clarified the distance and luminosity of GRBs, definitively placing them in distant galaxies. Long GRBs were also connected with the explosion of massive stars.
Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) are extremely energetic explosions that have been observed in distant galaxies. They are the brightest electromagnetic events known to occur in the universe. Bursts can last from ten milliseconds to several hours. After an initial flash of gamma rays, a longer-lived "afterglow" is usually emitted at longer wavelengths (X-ray, ultraviolet, optical, infrared, microwave and radio)."
The Great CMBR Blunder
If you refer back to the electromagnetic spectrum show in Figure F2, you might notice that there is one space-sourced band which has not been specifically mentioned so far -- Microwaves.
Microwaves from space are in a totally different category to the other Stuff1 sources we have looked at. Usually referred to as CMBR, the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation, a very large amount of information has been gathered about this band. Unfortunately, a completely wrong interpretation of this information has gained general currency, both among professional scientists and the wider public.
More on the nature of this blunder will be explained below. But first, we can look at how important our understanding of CMBR is for understanding the Universe as a whole. For example, it might be assumed that the energy in CMBR is probably tiny compared to the rest of the spectrum -- is this assumption justified? Definitely not!
Distribution of Stuff1 in the Universe
Our Universe is awash with radiation from all directions. In the past, we have very naturally concentrated on the visible spectrum, the part we can sense with our eyes, and the part which was amenable to the telescopes developed over the last several centuries.
But if we look at where the energy of all this radiation sits within the whole spectrum, it may be surprising to realize that the visible band is only a quite small part of the whole.
Figure UG101-F4. Percentage Radiation Densities in the Universe. Derived from data in .
In fact, the optical band makes up less than 3% of all this energy. It is sobering to reflect that almost all of our knowledge of the wider Universe comes from the scientific study of this relatively minor band.
It is also sobering to reflect that this knowledge comes overwhelmingly from a tiny part of the Universe, only one-billionth of the whole. This billionth part is what holds all stars and solar systems. We are only now beginning to understand what goes on in the rest of space. There is more detail on this in P4: The Greater Averaged Universe .
After the optical band, the next biggest slice of the energy pie is infrared. Infrared is heat. All objects in the real Universe exist in a state of equilibrium between the energy they are taking in, and the energy they are giving out. This applies to you and me, our Earth as a whole, and moons, planets, and larger objects in space. It's only in the case of stars, emitting in the optical band, that we are constantly aware of the energy generated within them.
Our Sun puts out a huge amount of energy, but less than half of this is in the optical band. Most of the rest is given out as infrared, or heat. The bands at which a body radiates depends on its surface temperature, stars are hot and radiate in the optical band, but smaller bodies such as planets and "black-dwarf" stars radiate mostly in the infrared.
There is more detail on the relationships between a body's temperature and how it radiates in P3: Living In The Universe .
So the 27% of the Radiation Energy Pie due to infrared comes from bodies not massive enough to ignite as stars, and the lower-energy side of what is emitted by stars. The highest-energy slice of the pie is much less than 1%, and the lowest-energy side, radio waves, is completely negligible in comparison.
The CMBR energy giant
It is a major surprise to many people, even scientists in fields allied to astronomy, that more than 70% of the radiation energy flooding through the Universe is in the form of CMBR. Like the elephant in the room, this fact is pretended to not exist!
Why should this be so? Well, part of the reason is that the conventional explanation of CMBR is a giant myth, and extracting scientifically-usable approaches from giant myths is not likely to be a fruitful exercise.
Yes, CMBR is still represented by such fanciful terms as "afterglow of the Big Bang"  or "relic radiation -- the oldest light in the universe" . It is purported to be radiation created at the "beginning of the Universe, some 13.7 billion years ago" which has since been been modified by being stretched during expansion of the Universe.
Of course, the Big Bang myth is just fanciful, and can't be expected to meet the requirements of real scientific enquiry, or even commonsense. If the CMBR was really created some 13.7 billion years ago, how come it it hasn't been absorbed by interaction with the Universe's matter, and how come it is still the biggest chunk of radiation permeating the Universe?
The real origin of CMBR is explained in P2: The Oort Soup as the real origin of Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation . Rather than being a mysterious relic, CMBR is just the normal thermal radiation (called black-body radiation) expected from all the matter in space outside solar systems.
This matter makes up some 90% of all the Universe's matter, and is so distant from any stars that it is very cold. All bodies emit radiation at wavelengths which depend on their temperature, and very cold bodies emit radiation in the microwave band -- this is the source of CMBR.
An unfortunate outcome of the CMBR/Big Bang myth is that because of the basic mistake about its origin, scientists have been diverted from analyzing the huge wealth of information which CMBR contains.
The Recycling of Stuff1
As mentioned above, almost everything in the Universe has a temperature which is in dynamic equilibrium, that is, its temperature depends on its balance between energy coming in, and energy going out. It's called dynamic because it responds virtually instantly to changes in the balance.
In the case of bodies in space, such as planets like the Earth, almost all the energy involved is carried by radiation -- Stuff1. So planets and other masses within the Universe sit in a vast sea of constant absorption and emission of radiation. We saw above (Fig. F4) that over 97% of this radiation is CMBR and Infrared, less than 3% is visible light.
All this radiation travels at the speed of light -- by definition. It is one of the most important ways in which Stuff1 is being recycled within the Universe. It's relevant to point out that the wavelengths at which a body emits depend on its surface temperature, while the wavelengths which it absorbs are whatever its environment sends.
The Universe, and its constituent planets and stars, is flooded with (sometimes immense) magnetic fields, which themselves contain energy. According to , this energy is of the same order as the energy contained in starlight -- optical energy.
Those interested in how this energy-balancing process affects our Earth may like to look at Temperatures of the Earth -- a Globe in Space (a re-analysis with some surprising results) . About half the energy we get from the Sun is visible light, half infrared. This, combined with a little energy generated by processes within the Earth, is radiated into space as infrared.
Stuff2: Matter and atoms
Stuff2 is what we call matter, and most matter is made up of atoms and their combinations. Familiar "states" of matter are solids, liquids, and gases. All combinations of these may contain energy in the way in which they are connected (for example, the atoms in a crystal lie in a lattice, and there is energy in the bonds between the atoms).
Figure UG101-F5. Matter is made up of atoms and their groupings. From .
The ancient Greeks hypothesized that matter was made up of individual units, which they called "atoms", but actual identification of these and their properties didn't begin before the work of the English scientist John Dalton, in the early 1800s .
In what was the start of modern chemistry, Dalton studied the weights of the components of chemical compounds, and concluded that their behaviour was best explained by these compounds being made up combinations of atoms -- elements -- each of which had its own intrinsic weight. Through such studies in physical chemistry, more and more individual elements were identified.
As they were discovered, these elements were grouped together in what was called a "Periodic Table" -- in rows and columns where their "atomic weights" increased along the rows, and elements with similar chemical properties were in the same column.
Figure UG101-F6. The Periodic Table Of Elements With Names And Symbols. From .
The elements were also assigned "atomic numbers" according to their weights, starting with the lightest, Hydrogen (AN=1) and going up to the heaviest-known natural element, Uranium (AN=92). In earlier years, there were obvious gaps in the table where an element not known at the time ought to fit. When it was found how to synthesize elements, some of these gaps (notably Technetium, AN=43) were filled with synthetic atoms, and the same methods were used to make elements heavier than Uranium.
By the early 1900s, concepts had been developed of what the structures of individual atoms of different elements might look like. The accepted picture is that an atom consists of a dense nucleus and a sparse cloud of Electrons surrounding it. The nucleus contains tiny heavy positively-charged entities called Protons, and usually a number of similar-size entities without charge, called Neutrons.
The number of Protons in the nucleus of a given element determines its identity and chemical properties, and is the same as its atomic number -- so Uranium, for example, has 92 neutrons in its nucleus.
Figure UG101-F7. Structure of a carbon atom. From .
In an isolated, uncombined atom, there are the same number of Electrons as Protons. Electrons have a negative charge, so with the same number of Electrons and of Protons, the atom as a whole is electrically neutral.
If they combine chemically, one atom may gain or lose an electron from the other, and this is the basis of chemical bonding. An Ion is an atom which has fewer or more electrons than when in its neutral state. A hydrogen atom normally has one electron, but if it is stripped of this, it is a positively-charged hydrogen ion.
For particles in space, their charge is important, because charged particles are affected by magnetic and electric fields, while neutral particles are not.
There are a number of smaller mechanisms by which mass is exchanged between a star, its planets, and their surroundings. These are interesting, but have only a relatively small effect on the broader Universe Recycling picture. For this reason, these matters have been extracted from this article and moved to BitsAside. You can look at those now and return here if you wish.
Vacuum-cleaning in space
In 2006 there was quite a stir in astronomical circles when Pluto, till then regarded as the ninth and outermost of the Sun's planets, was demoted to the status of a dwarf planet. This came about because newer rules were applied for a body circling the Sun to be classed as a planet.
One of the new rules was that a "full" planet had to have essentially cleared its orbit of other orbiting objects and matter. A planet could have moons or rings moving with it in its orbit, but couldn't be encountering other random objects; all such had to have been absorbed into the planet or thrown out beyond its normal orbit. Pluto didn't obey this rule, and was placed, along with some ten or so other solar system bodies, in the "dwarf planet" class.
How can planets clear their orbital paths? They do this through normal gravitational attraction of objects which come within gravitational range. A useful model is to imagine that a planet such as the Earth sits within a "gravity well", quite similar to a vortex or whirlpool.
Figure UG101-F11. Representation of the Earth's Gravity Well. From .
The gravity well can be imagined as water swirling round and dropping down into a plughole or whirlpool. Most items entering the swirl will be dragged down and swallowed. Only a body with its own considerable momentum and speed will have enough energy to rise up the slope of the well and escape.
More massive objects in the Universe, such as the Sun and other stars, and even whole galaxies, will each have their own gravity wells. The general trend is for matter to go down the well. In the long term, this extra matter will increase the mass of the object, and so increase the size of its gravity well.
These movements are examples of how matter, Stuff2, is being recycled within the Universe, We can distinguish two sorts of matter involved, first what we would call solid bodies, and second what would be regarded as gas, molecules, and very fine dust.
Big and little accumulations
We know that the Earth is in in continuous receipt of bodies falling from space, most notably in the form of meteorites. According to , estimates for the mass of material that falls on Earth each year range from 37,000 to 78,000 tons. Most of this mass would come from dust-sized particles.
If the Earth is subject to a continuing fall of objects from space, then the other planets and the Sun may be expected to also gain mass in this way. No larger bodies have ever been observed to fall into the Sun, but recently observed comets have made it close to the sun's surface. In 2011, comet Lovejoy actually passed through the solar corona, emerging much the worse for wear but still loosely together. Comet ISON barely survived a similar trip in 2014 .
These occurrences lead to gains in the masses of celestial objects from their surrounding space. In the shorter term, they are normally a negligible part of mass recycling in a solar system. They can be regarded as part of the mechanisms by which planets clear their orbits from minor space objects.
In the longer term, measured in hundreds of millions or billions of years, these gravitational interactions may profoundly affect mass balances in wider space. Our typical picture of, say, a Solar System like ours is that it evolved out of a "protoplanetary disc" of matter surrounding the early Sun, which contained all the constituents of the current planets in their current positions.
How the planets got in a plane
New work  however suggests a very different picture. According to this, the early Solar System accumulated from random bodies in an interstellar background, once one of those bodies had accumulated enough mass to become a proto-star. This star then gravitationally reorganized nearby smaller bodies to form the plane of orbiting planets we see today.
Moreover, the original Heliosphere (see Figure F9) had fewer contents than now, but has been on a 4.7 billion-year trip through the GAU, the Greater Averaged Universe, during which it has continually cannibalized its surroundings to build itself up to greater mass.
The mechanism by which the orbits of the planets were gradually forced closer to the equatorial plane of the Sun's rotation is called Equatorial Forcing. There is more detail on this in P1: The Cosmic Smog model for solar system formation, and the nature of 'Dark Matter'.
The Sun's gravity well
Stars such as our Sun have their own gravity wells. As already mentioned, the general fate of matter intruding into a gravity well is that it will be captured. This is partly a matter of chance -- if a golf ball rolls into a hole on the green, there is very little chance that it will bounce up out of the hole again.
There are also some small but potentially long-acting forces which can move Solar System bodies towards, or away from, the Sun. One of these is the Yarkovsky Effect, which can move smaller rotating asteroids and dust aggregates towards the Sun. Here is an extract from  on this.
"The Yarkovsky effect is a consequence of the fact that change in the temperature of an object warmed by radiation (and therefore the intensity of thermal radiation from the object) lags behind changes in the incoming radiation. That is, the surface of the object takes time to become warm when first illuminated; and takes time to cool down when illumination stops".
Figure UG101-F13. The Yarkovsky Effect. From .
"In general, the effect is size dependent, and will affect the semi-major axis of smaller asteroids, while leaving large asteroids practically unaffected. For kilometre-sized asteroids, the Yarkovsky effect is minuscule over short periods: the force on asteroid 6489 Golevka has been estimated at about 0.25 newton, for a net acceleration of 10-10 m/s2. But it is steady; over millions of years an asteroid's orbit can be perturbed enough to transport it from the asteroid belt to the inner Solar System".
So the Sun's attendant planets exist in a gravitational vortex or whirlpool which, however slowly, tends to drag matter into the centre of the vortex -- the Sun.
The Galactic Vortex
Our Milky Way galaxy is also a vortex, and there is a very slow but steady force which moves stars (and their attendant planets) towards the galactic centre. This centre is a supermassive black hole (Stuff4) which we will look at later.
Terence Witt has described this effect , and a formula for the rate of movement of stars towards the centre (called an AGN, Active Galactic Nucleus) has been given. Here is an extract from this reference.
"The vortical nature of galaxies has evaded detection until now because it is a subtle effect buried by a myriad of competing dynamics. It is so small in relation to most galactic
motions, such as circular velocity, that it can only be found by knowing in advance what to
"An equation [(16.13) in ] gives the total material flow through a galactic vortex. To put this into perspective, the Milky Way's total vortical flow is vanishingly small [about 18,000 times the mass of the Sun per year]. This amounts to less than 40 parts per trillion of its total mass per year."
"The galactic vortex is responsible for why our local neighborhood appears about ten billion years old, and it is also the reason why globular clusters often seem older than the galaxy they orbit. Their trajectories lie immediately outside the galactic vortex, so they are not pulled into its recycling engine with the same regularity as its disk material."
The Galactic Transit Time
Witt's treatment shows how material (stars) picked up at the edge of the galactic vortex moves slowly towards its centre, the AGN. It also gives the time taken to do this. Here is more from .
"The net effect of the galactic vortex on the rest of the universe's appearance, however, is more profound. It took about ten billion years for our solar system to reach its current distance from the galactic rim. How long until it falls into the core? The time required to flow across our galaxy's entire luminous disk will be called the galactic transit time".
"In the case of our galaxy, the time required to traverse its entire luminous structure is about 16 billion years. All galaxies are vortices similar to ours, so there is very little material in the universe that appears much older than the galactic transit time of the Milky Way. This is why the entire universe appears to have a finite age. Reality's building blocks are quite ancient but are frequently reshuffled by galactic cores."
Clearly this gradual movement of material from a galactic rim to the AGN at its core is a fundamental part of the recycling process -- a major route for transfer of Stuff2. Where it goes once it reaches the centre is a matter we'll look at further on.
How stars age and change
Stars don't remain the same throughout their lives, instead they follow a cycle from birth to death. The details of any of these cycles depend on the initial mass which the star gains as it aggregates from matter in interstellar space.
High-mass stars evolve more rapidly than low-mass stars. The very heaviest stars go from birth to death in a few million years, comparable to the total time that man-like creatures have been on Earth.
According to Universe Today , the smallest stars around are the tiny red dwarfs. These are stars with 50% the mass of the Sun or less. The least massive red dwarf has 7.5% the mass of the Sun. This is usually reckoned to be the minimum size for which "a star has the temperature and pressures in its core so that nuclear fusion reactions can take place".
The smallest stars are reckoned to last for many trillions of years -- establishment astrophysicists would say for longer than the age of the Universe . We'll see later how these ideas can be reconciled with a Recycling Universe.
Figure UG101-F15. Evolution of stars according to their masses. From .
Figure F15 represents how stars of different sizes behave during their lifetimes. This representation is quite reasonable and generally accepted, although the underlying mechanisms involved may be quite different from those widely claimed. There's a lot more detail in Wikipedia .
It's not in dispute that the bodies which we call normal stars produce light from reactions within them which convert hydrogen into heavier elements. It's also not in dispute that more massive stars use up their resources more quickly than lighter ones. This has been accepted for around 100 years.
Knowledge of what happens to stars when they approach the end of their lives is more recent. It is believed that eventually, as some inner resources are used up, the star swells hugely in size and then explodes, throwing off much of its mass into space. This is an important part of Stuff2 transfer within a Recycling Universe.
In the swelling phase, the star becomes a Red Giant or Red Supergiant. In the Explosion Phase, the result is called a Planetary Nebula (for a smaller star, such as our Sun), or a Supernova (if from a larger-mass star). In either case, a relict body is left after the explosion, the nature of which depends on the mass left behind.
Planetary Nebulas leave behind a White Dwarf (classed as a star though no longer supporting fusion reactions), and Supernovas leave behind either a Neutron Star or a Black Hole. Matters here are very much still subject to argument, and my views which follow are not necessarily those of the current general establishment.
White Dwarfs and Chandra
As they reach the end of their lives and enter the Explosion Phase, smaller stars throw off perhaps half of their matter in the explosion. The object remaining is called a White Dwarf. See Figure 15 for a diagrammatic view.
The upper limit in mass for a White Dwarf is close to 1.4 times the mass of the Sun. This limit is called the Chandrasekhar Limit. It has a theoretical basis in a calculation by the Indian astrophysicist, Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar . He won the 1993 Nobel Prize in Physics for this discovery, and now has NASA's X-ray observatory, Chandra, named in his honour. His theoretical calculations have so far held the observational test -- no white dwarfs have been found with a mass greater than 1.4 solar masses.
One point to remember about this Chandrasekhar Limit is that it refers to the mass of the material in the remnant core after all other mass loss. Stars lose a lot of their mass as they evolve. The upper mass-limit for a main sequence star that will go on to form a white dwarf rather than a neutron star is not precisely known but is thought to be about 8 solar masses.
A 2-solar-mass star will probably end up as a 0.7 solar-mass white dwarf. At present the lower-mass limit for any white dwarf is about 0.6 solar masses. These dwarfs form from main sequence stars slightly less than 1 solar-mass .
Clearly these Explosion Phases represent a major part of Stuff2 recycling in the Universe. Conventional (hydrogen-burning) stars of all sizes shed a big fraction of their total mass into space, as particles, when they explode. The fact that we can detect these explosions occurring in other galaxies means that the matter they are redistributing can reach into the space between galaxies.
According to , "White dwarfs have unusual properties. Firstly, they are very small, but the more massive white dwarfs are actually smaller than less massive ones. With their fuel used up, no fusion takes place, so there is no radiation pressure to withstand gravitational collapse.
More massive stellar cores experience stronger gravitational force so actually compress more. A 0.5 solar-mass white dwarf has a radius 1.9 times that of Earth, a 1.0 solar-mass one is only 1.5 earth radii. A white dwarf is composed of carbon and oxygen ions mixed in with a sea of degenerate electrons.
A white dwarf, with a mass roughly that of the Sun packed into a volume not much greater than the Earth, must have an extremely high density, one million times greater than that of water. The heat trapped within a white dwarf will gradually be radiated away by it, but with its small radius, a white dwarf has only a small surface area. Heat therefore cannot escape quickly, and in fact it will take tens to hundreds of billions of years for a white dwarf to radiate away its heat".
Supernovas and Neutron Stars
The Explosive Phase of a larger star is called a Supernova, and it leaves behind an object with a mass above the Chandrasekhar Limit of 1.4 the mass of our Sun.
Figure UG101-F16. M1, the Crab Nebula, the outer shell form of a supernova that exploded in AD 1054. From .
The best-known supernova is seen in the Crab Nebula. This supernova explosion was recorded by Chinese astronomers in 1054 AD, almost 1000 years ago. The material thrown out by the explosion is still a prominent telescopic object today. Here is some of what Wikipedia says about it .
"The Crab Nebula is a supernova remnant and pulsar wind nebula in the constellation of Taurus. Corresponding to a bright supernova recorded by Chinese astronomers in 1054, the nebula was observed later by English astronomer John Bevis in 1731.
The nebula was the first astronomical object identified with a historical supernova explosion. At an apparent magnitude of 8.4, comparable to that of Saturn's moon Titan, it is not visible to the naked eye but can be made out using binoculars under favourable conditions. The nebula lies in the Perseus Arm of the Milky Way galaxy, at a distance of about 6,500 light-years from Earth.
It has a diameter of 11 light-years and is expanding at a rate of about 1,500 kilometres per second, or 0.5% of the speed of light. At the center of the nebula lies the Crab Pulsar, a neutron star 28-30 kilometres across, with a spin rate of 30.2 times per second, which emits pulses of radiation from gamma rays to radio waves.
At X-ray and gamma ray energies above 30 keV, the Crab Nebula is generally the strongest persistent source in the sky. The nebula's radiation allows for the detailed studying of celestial bodies that occult it. In the 1950s and 1960s, the Sun's corona was mapped from observations of the Crab Nebula's radio waves passing through it, and in 2003, the thickness of the atmosphere of Saturn's moon Titan was measured as it blocked out X-rays from the nebula."
In February 1987 a new star appeared in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a neighbouring galaxy 170,000 light years away . What was remarkable was that this was the first naked-eye supernova visible since 1604. The object, named Supernova 1987A, was a massive star ripping itself apart in a violent event that released as much energy for a short period as the rest of the galaxy combined.
About Neutron Stars -- Stuff3
When stars rather more than 1.4 times the mass of the Sun reach their explosive phase, they leave behind a Neutron Star. As the name implies, these are believed to be made up mostly or entirely of neutrons.
Neutrons which are ejected into space, say from the breakdown of a radioactive atom, have only a short lifetime of about 11 minutes before they decay into a proton and an electron. If the proton then combines with the electron, it forms a hydrogen atom. The decay also releases energy as a photon (packet of light).
Neutron Stars are remarkable objects, They are extremely dense, spin very rapidly, and have enormous magnetic fields. Buzzle has a good popular summary  of what are widely accepted as features of Neutron Stars. Following are some extracts from Buzzle.
"Stars are gigantic balls of gas, mostly made up of hydrogen and helium, powered by nuclear fusion at their core. Their life is a constant tussle between the crushing force of gravity and the fusion energy combating it.
More massive a star, hotter is its core, and faster is the rate at which is burns up fuel. When some massive stars run out of their fuel, they implode in a cataclysmic explosion known as a supernova, leaving a rapidly spinning, dense, extremely compact core, with one of the most powerful gravitational and magnetic fields, in their wake. This stellar remnant, forged out of a dying massive stellar object, is known as a neutron star.
What happens when you take the mass of a star that weighs more than 1.4 times the mass of the Sun and compress it into a sphere extending 20 Km in diameter? You get a stellar object that has a density of 1017 Kg/m3 (which is about 1014 times Earth's density), with the most mind-boggling set of inherent properties. A neutron star whose magnetic beam axis is directed towards the Earth, is known as a pulsar (pulsating star).
Every aspect of this stellar remnant tests the limits and extremes of the laws of physics. Neutron stars were first hypothesized by Fritz Zwicky right after discovery of the neutron, in 1933, to explain the triggering of a supernova. In 1965, Antony Hewish and Samuel Okoye first discovered an object emitting radiation in radio waves, in the Crab Nebula, located in the Orion constellation. After intense research, it was confirmed to be a neutron star and later a rotating neutron star, called a pulsar. It is known as the Crab Pulsar."
These concepts give a fair feel for what a Neutron Star is, and how it behaves. But one question for which current science does not give an answer is, "how were the neutrons at the remnant core formed?".
These neutrons, in a state which we will call Compressed, represent a stupendous store of energy. There is no way in which this energy could have been gained from the Explosion Stage event. Instead, it is logical to assume that the Compressed Neutrons were already at the core of the star when it exploded. Let's see how this could come about.
The CONCORE Model
In 2012, I presented a new model for the origin of bodies in space, in Inside The Earth -- The Heartfire Model . Basically, the model assumes that all single bodies in space, from stars down to planets and planetesimals, started by aggregating gases and dust -- this is fairly standard. The more matter accumulated by a body, the greater the pressure at its core (also standard).
What is different in the new model, is that it assumes that once the mass accumulated reaches a certain threshold, the core matter is compressed down to neutrons by the great pressure (CONCORE Model -- COmpressed Neutrons at CORE). These compressed neutrons remain with the body for its whole life, except that some neutrons at the outside surface of the core decay into a proton and an electron (hydrogen atom), with the release of energy.
This hydrogen atom is enormously larger than the neutron from which it came, which forces changes to the shape of the rest of the body around the core, and the energy release is the source of the heat noted on a planetary surface. Compressed neutrons have a virtually infinite lifetime, while free neutrons decay in about 11 minutes -- decay of core-surface neutrons will be very slow, but persistent.
The mass threshold at which neutron compression starts in a planet is a bit below that of Mars. This explains why Mars apparently had an active tectonic history for the first billion years of its life, but then ceased activity -- it had only a small Concore, which became all used up.
The model also provides a credible source for the energy of earthquakes, which is far greater than the background level of heat reaching the surface generally (over 7000 BL units per day, compared to about 213 BL units). This is described in Finally, the True Origin of Earthquakes? .
The CONCORE Model gives a logical explanation of how the neutrons in a neutron star formed. They were always at the core of the star which exploded, and all the mass lost by the star in the explosion was ordinary Stuff2 matter lying outside the core. The core remaining is in Stuff3 form, as in a neutron star.
What are Pulsars?
Stuff3, as in a neutron star, has some essential characteristics which distinguish it from Stuff2. First, it consists mostly of compressed neutrons. Second, it is in a body which is spinning extremely rapidly. Third, the body exists in an enormously high magnetic field.
Figure UG101-F17. Artist's conception of a neutron star. From .
Figure F17 is an artist's conception of a neutron star. Coming from the poles of the star are beams of light or other electromagnetic radiation. Such beams have not been photographed, and later we will see why -- although secondary effects of the beams may be detected.
We saw above that a neutron star whose magnetic beam axis is directed towards the Earth is known as a pulsar (pulsating star). There is a fair amount of muddled thinking about on pulsars and radiation from neutron stars, here I will try and clear up some of this confusion and correct a common error.
Wikipedia has a solid write-up on neutron stars , and an extract from this follows.
A pulsar (short for pulsating radio star) is a highly magnetized, rotating neutron star that emits a beam of electromagnetic radiation. This radiation can be observed only when the beam of emission is pointing toward Earth (much the way a lighthouse can be seen only when the light is pointed in the direction of an observer), and is responsible for the pulsed appearance of emission."
The lighthouse analogy used by Wikipedia, and very widely elsewhere, is misleading. In a lighthouse, a beam of light is reflected through rotating mirrors in a horizontal plane, so you only see the beam when the rotating mirrors are positioned to deflect the beam onto your current position.
In a pulsar/ neutron star, the beam is emitted along the axis of rotation of the star, as in Figure F17. Moreover, the beam is very tightly collimated (focussed into parallel rays) and extremely thin. The beam can only be seen by an observer who is very exactly in a position on the extension into space of the pulsar's pole of rotation.
So when viewed from a position like that in the Figure F17 artist's conception, the emitted beams could not be seen directly, although the secondary effects of these beams contacting matter in space might show up.
The beams remain tightly collimated through hundreds or thousands of light-years, and in the case of pulsars detected in other galaxies, through millions of light-years. Even the very slightest wobble in the mechanism producing the beam will show up as a pulse at such distances.
Another consideration is that the axis of rotation of the pulsar and the axis of rotation of its magnetic field may not coincide . It is believed that the beam from a pulsar is emitted along its magnetic-field axis, so an angular difference here would also show up as a pulse.
Figure UG101-F18. Magnetic field of a neutron star. From .
The common error about pulsars and other distant light sources is to assume that the source is emitting in all directions around it, as does the Sun. The source is then ascribed to having a much greater level of energy emission than it actually does, using such phrases as "briefly emitting more light than the rest of the galaxy in which it lies".
Of course if you observe a distant star and measure its light, and you don't know that it is a Stuff3 object which happens to have its axis pointing right at you, it is easy to make this error. The real position seems obvious, but I did check with the author of an article citing such a huge star-energy output, and they did confirm that the article assumed that the star was radiating in all directions.
Pulsar rotation times
The precise periods of pulsars make them very useful tools . Observations of a pulsar in a binary neutron star system were used to indirectly confirm the existence of gravitational radiation. The first extrasolar planets were discovered around a pulsar, PSR B1257+12. Certain types of pulsars rival atomic clocks in their accuracy in keeping time.
Neutron stars have short, regular rotational periods. This produces a very precise interval between pulses that range roughly from milliseconds to seconds for an individual pulsar. Pulsars are believed to be one of the candidates of high and ultra-high energy astroparticles (particles streaming through space) .
A pulsar's rotation rate slows down over time as electromagnetic power is emitted. When a pulsar's spin period slows down sufficiently, the radio pulsar mechanism is believed to turn off (the so-called "death line"). This turn-off seems to take place after about 10 to 100 million years.
Magnetars are a type of neutron stars, known to possess extremely strong magnetic fields, emitting X-ray and gamma radiation. A millisecond pulsar is a neutron star radiating X-rays and gamma rays, while spinning at a very high rate. Among the 200 such objects discovered so far, the first is known to spin about 641 times per second, while the fastest so far known spins at 716 times per second.
Neutron stars in the form of pulsars are a subject of intense research today. Though the general picture of pulsars as rapidly rotating neutron stars is widely accepted, Werner Becker of the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics said in 2006, "The theory of how pulsars emit their radiation is still in its infancy, even after nearly forty years of work" .
If the theory behind neutron stars and pulsars is still far from settled, current understanding of Black Holes is just in its infancy. To try and make some sense of the confusion, we need to distinguish between Concept Black Holes (CBHs) and Real Black Holes (RBHs).
Concept Black Holes are the result of formulating assumptions and hypotheses, and applying mathematical tools to the mix. There is nothing wrong with this, it's a standard scientific approach. Its dangers lie in accepting the mathematical models or outcomes from the analyses as entities in their own right, and losing sight of the underlying assumptions.
We'll later look at an instance of this weakness, where a basic element in the CBH structure will be shown to have no relevance to RBHs, the real black holes existing in the Universe. Let's first look at what CBHs represent -- what is widely disseminated about black holes.
What is a Black Hole?
Asking this question of Google throws up a dictionary definition. "Noun (astronomy): a region of space having a gravitational field so intense that no matter or radiation can escape". Wikipedia  says more or less the same thing, and gives a lot more detail.
"A black hole is a region of spacetime exhibiting such strong gravitational effects that nothing -- not even particles and electromagnetic radiation such as light -- can escape from inside it. The theory of general relativity predicts that a sufficiently compact mass can deform spacetime to form a black hole.
The boundary of the region from which no escape is possible is called the event horizon. Although the event horizon has an enormous effect on the fate and circumstances of an object crossing it, no locally detectable features appear to be observed. In many ways a black hole acts like an ideal black body, as it reflects no light.
Objects whose gravitational fields are too strong for light to escape were first considered in the 18th century by John Michell and Pierre-Simon Laplace. The first modern solution of general relativity that would characterize a black hole was found by Karl Schwarzschild in 1916.
Black holes of stellar mass are expected to form when very massive stars collapse at the end of their life cycle. After a black hole has formed, it can continue to grow by absorbing mass from its surroundings. By absorbing other stars and merging with other black holes, supermassive black holes of millions of solar masses may form. There is general consensus that supermassive black holes exist in the centers of most galaxies.
Despite its invisible interior, the presence of a black hole can be inferred through its interaction with other matter and with electromagnetic radiation such as visible light.
If there are other stars orbiting a black hole, their orbits can be used to determine the black hole's mass and location. In this way, astronomers have established that the radio source known as Sagittarius A*, at the core of our own Milky Way galaxy, contains a supermassive black hole of about 4.3 million solar masses."
So there we have it. Nothing can escape from a CBH, and general relativity proves it. Moreover, John Michell suggested it back in the 1700s. Michell, a don at Cambridge and born in Isaac Newton's last years, described as "a little short man, of black complexion, and fat", deserves much wider recognition. Here is a bit about him, from Wikipedia .
"John Michell (1724-1793) was an English clergyman and natural philosopher who provided pioneering insights in a wide range of scientific fields, including astronomy, geology, optics, and gravitation. Considered "one of the greatest unsung scientists of all time", he was the first person known to propose the existence of black holes in publication, the first to suggest that earthquakes travel in waves, the first to explain how to manufacture artificial magnets, and the first to apply statistics to the study of the cosmos, recognizing that double stars were a product of mutual gravitation.
He also invented an apparatus to measure the mass of the Earth. He has been called both the father of seismology and the father of magnetometry. According to one source, "a few specifics of Michell's work really do sound like they are ripped from the pages of a twentieth century astronomy textbook."
Figure UG101-F19. John Michell. From .
The American Physical Society has described Michell as being "so far ahead of his scientific contemporaries that his ideas languished in obscurity, until they were re-invented more than a century later." The APS states that while "he was one of the most brilliant and original scientists of his time, Michell remains virtually unknown today, in part because he did little to develop and promote his own path-breaking ideas."
Maybe he would have fared better if he'd had the Internet available!
The Schwartzschild Radius
At the heart of the CBH story is the mathematical formula for the "event horizon", the outer surface bounding a black hole. The calculation asserts that, if all the mass of an object is within a certain radius of its centre, the object is a black hole, and matter within it would have to move at greater than light speed to escape.
Here is a formal definition from . The Schwarzschild radius is the radius of the event horizon surrounding a non-rotating black hole. Any object with a physical radius smaller than its Schwarzschild radius will be a black hole. This quantity was first derived by Karl Schwarzschild in 1916.
The inference from this, as nothing can exceed the speed of light, is that no radiation or matter can escape from a Black Hole. But wait. This relates to a CBH, a Concept Black Hole. When we pass on to a RBH, a Real Black Hole such as commonly exists in the real Universe, the position is quite different.
Galaxies spewing out matter and radiation
In the real Universe, black holes are quite commonly seen to be spewing out huge quantities of matter and radiation, pushing them out long distances into space. These emissions are known as astrophysical jets.
Figure UG101-F20. Inner Structure of an Active Galaxy. From .
Figure F20 is a diagram of the jets issuing from the supermassive black hole at the centre of a galaxy (also called an AGN, Active Galactic Nucleus). It is taken from Wikipedia , as are the following extracts.
"An astrophysical jet (hereafter 'jet') is a phenomenon often seen in astronomy, where streams of matter are emitted along the axis of rotation of a compact object. While it is still the subject of ongoing research to understand how jets are formed and powered, the two most often proposed origins are dynamic interactions within the accretion disk, or a process associated with the compact central object (such as a black hole or neutron star).
When matter is emitted at speeds approaching the speed of light, these jets are called relativistic jets, because the effects of special relativity become important. The largest jets are those from black holes in active galaxies such as quasars and radio galaxies.
Relativistic jets. The environment around the AGN where the relativistic plasma is collimated into jets which escape along the pole of the supermassive black hole.
Relativistic jets are very powerful jets of plasma with speeds close to the speed of light that are emitted by the central black holes of some active galaxies (notably radio galaxies and quasars), stellar black holes, and neutron stars.
Their lengths can reach several thousand or even hundreds of thousands of light years. If the jet speed is close to the speed of light, the effects of the Special Theory of Relativity are significant. The mechanics behind both the creation of the jets and the composition of the jets are still a matter of much debate in the scientific community".
So, as long as you are talking about RBHs rather than CBHs, it is routine that these will have matter and energy escaping from them. How is this fact reconciled with the CBH assertion that nothing can escape from a black hole?
The thing is this. Look again at the Schwartzchild calculation. The mathematics involved may be fine, but what about the underlying factors?
What Schwarzschild actually tries to define is the radius of the event horizon surrounding a non-rotating black hole. Note the factor "non-rotating". All RBHs actually rotate, extremely rapidly. Schwarzchild has no relevance to Real Black Holes.
Jets from Neutron Stars
As we have seen, black holes may result from the Explosion events of massive stars, a few multiples of the mass of the Sun. There will be large numbers of these within a galaxy, such as our Milky Way.
There are also supermassive black holes at the centres of galaxies. Most accounts will cautiously say that "it is accepted that most galaxies will have a supermassive black hole at their centre". We will see later that all galaxies must have such a supermassive black hole, as it is the black hole which controls the formation of the galaxy, rather than it being a chance component.
There will therefore only be one supermassive black hole or AGN in each galaxy. In our Milky Way galaxy, the AGN has 4.6 million times the mass of our Sun. In 2012, an AGN in a small galaxy about 250 million light-years from Earth, with 17 billion times the mass of the Sun, was announced as the largest found to date .
Jets may also be observed from neutron stars, an example being the pulsar IGR J11014-6103, which produces the largest jet observed in the Milky Way Galaxy. This jet is observed in x-rays and has no detected radio signature.
Figure UG101-F21. The pulsar IGR J11014-6103 with supernova remnant origin, nebula and jet. From .
IGR J11014-6103 has an estimated jet velocity of 0.8c (80% of the speed of light). This star was presumed to be rapidly spinning but later measurements indicate the spin rate is only 15.9 Hz. In the image the jet, aligned with the pulsar rotation axis, is perpendicular to the pulsar's trajectory and extends out over 37 light years (about 10 times the distance from our sun to the nearest visible star).
It should be remembered that photographs of jets like this only show the secondary effects of the jets striking material they encounter in space. The full force of a jet is only encountered on Earth when we happen to be directly on the axis of the black hole or neutron star. Our own galaxy is undoubtedly emitting jets along its axis, but we can only see its secondary effects as the jets are at right angles to the galactic disc.
Figure UG101-F22. Galaxies viewed at different angles. From .
In earlier days, when astronomers were investigating and classifying galaxies, various types were assigned names such as Radio Galaxies, Seyfert Galaxies, Quasars, and Blazars. Later it was realised that all these types were the same, just viewed from different angles. Only the Blazars were being viewed "head-on", directly along the axis of the galaxy.
It should be pointed out that the jets from these objects contain both Stuff1 (radiation) and Stuff2 (matter) components. The radiation (light) from distant objects, including galaxies, is very little affected by gravity and comes through to us in close to its original form, although red-shifted. This is even after travelling for as much as 13 billion years.
On the other hand, the matter in jets (mostly protons and electrons) is all charged particles. These are affected by the various magnetic fields they pass through, altering their trajectories. They will therefore lose most of the sharp collimation of the radiation component -- unlike light, the direction from which they are detected cannot be traced back to their source.
The post-explosion behaviour of stars
Looking back again to Figure F15, this showed various outcomes of the evolution of stars. Lighter stars ended up as White Dwarfs. Medium-size stars resulted in Neutron Stars. And the massive stars finished up as Black Holes.
From what we've seen above, it is apparent that these ostensibly different end results are really just the same, just different points along a common range. After explosion, all stars end up as rapidly spinning objects, emitting radiation and/or matter along their axes.
Black Holes and Stuff4
Here we refer to the substance within Black Holes (RBHs, mind) as Stuff4. Its nature has till now hardly been speculated upon. Stuff3 has been identified as Compacted Neutrons, as found in neutron stars.
Stuff4 is of a different order of density from Stuff3. A feel for the picture can be gained by considering how big the Earth would be, if made from the different stuffs.
The diameter of our Earth, mostly Stuff2, ordinary matter, is about 12,700 kilometres. If the Earth was made entirely from Stuff3, compressed neutrons, its diameter would be about 330 metres. And if it was made of Stuff4, black-hole substance, its diameter would be about 3 centimetres.
Assuming that Stuff3 is close to the maximum degree that matter can be compressed, what can Stuff4 be made of? So far, no-one seems to have been willing to answer this, so I'll put forward a tentative suggestion for discussion.
One of the essential points about Stuff3 and Stuff4 is that it is rotating, extremely rapidly. The energy in this rotation is extremely high. Just as mass has its energy equivalent, as in the Einstein equation E=mc2, so energy has a mass equivalent, using the same relationship. The suggestion is, that in Stuff4 most of its density is a reflection of its rotational energy content.
The shape of the Galaxy
Our Milky Way galaxy, like most spiral galaxies, has the shape of a "flying saucer", a disc tapering down in thickness towards its outer edge, and with a central bulge.
Figure UG101-F23. Diagram of a spiral galaxy's structure. From .
Figure F23 is a diagram of such a structure. In a real galaxy, its outlines are nowhere near as sharp as the diagram would suggest, it is only a diagram.
Studies have revealed that different parts of a galaxy may differ in age. Here is some of what  says, including information on the Central Bulge.
"Spiral galaxies like the Milky Way and its largest neighbor, Andromeda, have large central bulges of mostly older stars, as well as a relatively young thin spiral disk (surrounded by older, thick disk stars that may have come from mergers with satellite galaxies) and a luminous halo that includes numerous globular clusters.
In 2011 a team of astronomers reported that the supermassive central black holes of galaxies appear to be dependent on the size of their central bulge of stars, rather than on the size of their spiral disk or "pseudobulges." Supermassive black holes have been found at the centers of nearly all galaxies observed, and larger black holes have been found in larger galaxies (those surrounded by the largest dark matter halos).
The astronomers found, however, that galaxies without a bulge contain very low mass black holes, if any. Hence, they concluded that the growth of supermassive black holes in galaxies is primarily dependent on the formation of a central bulge, rather than to the surrounding mass of dark matter."
Some galaxies appear to be more Bulge than anything else, and these appear to have larger AGNs. Here is more from , on the Sombrero Galaxy.
Figure UG101-F24. The Sombrero Galaxy. From .
"The galaxies with the largest central bulge of stars appear to have the biggest supermassive central black holes. The Sombrero Galaxy, shown here, is a "bulge- dominated" galaxy with a black hole measured at a billion Solar-masses, compared with the Milky Way Galaxy's central black hole of around four million
What can we work out, from what has been said before, about why galaxies should attain such shapes?
Equatorial Forcing and Galactic Discs and Bulges
The disc shape of most galaxies turns out to be a natural consequence of Equatorial Forcing. In , Equatorial Forcing was put forward as the basis of the planets in our local solar system all lying in nearly the same plane. Gravitational effects from the mass of the rotating Sun forced planets in formerly random orbits into the same plane as that of the Sun's equator.
What this means for galaxies, is that once a large central mass had accumulated, this would force stars which once moved relatively randomly into the plane of rotation of the central mass. This mass would then gradually pull more objects into its influence, building up into an AGN as it absorbed more objects from interstellar space due to the vortex effect.
In this way, the AGN would be pulling more objects in from its fringes, and as the AGN built up, returning more material to space with its jets. According to Witt , this process takes about 16 billion years for a body to go from edge to centre.
Consequences of this picture are, that all galaxies must contain an AGN (central supermassive black hole), and that this AGN is rotating in the plane of its galaxy -- in effect, the AGN creates the galaxy, rather than the other way about.
What about the Bulge? A corresponding feature is not seen in a solar system. An explanation is that the galaxy is emitting huge amounts of material in the jets spurting out from its centre, perpendicular to the galaxy's plane. The material (Stuff2) part of this is charged particles, protons and electrons, which would combine to form hydrogen, the building block of stars and solar systems.
This explanation would accord with the observations above, that galaxies with more massive AGNs would produce more jet material, leading to bigger proportions of Bulge in the galaxy. Here is more support material, from .
"Astronomers typically believe that the size of the central part of a galaxy, and the black hole inside of it, are linked. But the vastly different proportions seen in NGC 1277 are calling that into question.
NGC 1277's black hole could be many times more massive than its largest known competitor, which is estimated but not confirmed to be between 6 billion and 37 billion solar masses in size. It makes up about 59 percent of its host galaxy's central mass -- the bulge of stars at the core. The object's closest competitor is in the galaxy NGC 4486B, whose black hole takes up 11 percent of that galaxy's central bulge mass.
However, van den Bosch's team says it has also spotted five other galaxies near NGC 1277 that look about the same, and may also harbor gigantic black holes inside of them. Van den Bosch said his team discovered the mega black holes during a survey to seek 'the biggest black holes we could find.'
The astronomers analyzed the light coming from 700 galaxies, using an immense light-gathering telescope: the Hobby-Eberly Telescope at the University of Texas at Austin's Mcdonald Observatory. From that large survey, they found six galaxies with stars and other objects whipping about inside of them at unusually high average speeds -- more than 350 kilometers a second. The galaxies also were small, at less than 9,784 light-years across.
Suspecting the speed and size measurements meant massive black holes lay inside these galaxies, the team used Hubble Space Telescope archival data of NGC 1277 and discovered the large black hole. The team also noted that NGC 1277 has only old stars inside it. The youngest stars in the galaxy are 8 billion years old, almost twice the age of our sun."
The real origin of Cosmic Rays
Knowing about the existence of galactic jets, the origin of cosmic rays becomes almost self-evident -- they are the Stuff2 component of the jets.
This is not a new suggestion. But it is perhaps the first time that this conclusion has emerged naturally from other work.
Cosmic ray particles, mostly very-rapidly moving protons, have enormously high energies. These are many orders of magnitude higher than anything produced by man, such as in the Large Hadron Collider. One highest-energy cosmic proton has as much energy as a cricket ball travelling at 90 km/hr.
Cosmic rays are a fascinating and complex subject. An excellent source on cosmic ray research is Michael Friedlander's book Cosmic Rays . But even in this professional review, the source of cosmic rays is not identified, other than from "outside the Galaxy".
The radiation component from jets can also give useful information. Figure F25 shows sources of gamma rays detected by NASA's COS-B satellite, operating from 1975 to 1982 . This scanned gamma rays received on Earth from the plane of the Milky Way Galaxy -- our Sun is on a spiral arm about two-thirds of the way out from the centre.
Figure UG101-F25. Galactic gamma-ray emissions. From .
As we ourselves lie in the galactic plane, these gamma-ray emissions will be mostly from neutron stars and stellar-mass black holes in our galaxy. Notice that there is a strong emission about three-quarters of the way to the right: this is from the Vela Pulsar. Almost at the right is another circle, which represents the Crab Pulsar.
Notice that these, and other strong emissions, are circular. This is presumably because we are viewing these pulsars head-on to their jets. Pulsars at other orientations may not be detected. A more detailed contour map, showing these effects more clearly, is on page 120 of .
This article gives a very different picture of the Universe compared to the norm. Instead of a Universe born maybe 13.7 billion years ago, and on its slow way towards death, we have an ever-changing Universe in which matter and energy are continually recycled.
Like the chicken and the egg, the new picture has no beginning point. But individual galaxies do have individual histories. In general terms, stars and their solar systems are assembled from interstellar matter, mostly hydrogen gas, and become sucked up into new galaxies.
These galaxies, each with an accreting black hole at its centre, gather up stars at their outer rim. This rim is continually growing outwards as more stars are captured, in a vortex effect. The same effect gradually moves stars in towards the galaxy's centre.
During the course of this journey, most conventional stars will lose a big proportion of their mass in a giant explosion, which leaves behind white dwarfs, neutron stars, and black holes. These relict structures will continue to move towards their galactic centre, until they are swallowed by the supermassive black hole lying there.
Meanwhile, this AGN will be repatriating much of its material back to the Universe at large, through giant galactic jets proceeding out from its spin axis. And so, this material kicks on and may go to form new stars.
Ockham One, Establishment Zero
This article gives a new outline of what goes on in an infinite Universe, where its constituent parts do the usual birth, development, and death things, but the overall bigger picture remains the same.
The article contains very little which is new, or even controversial, in science. What may be new is the way in which existing data and insights are re-synthesized to give a rather different whole.
This whole actually explains quite a lot of what we observe about the Universe in more credible way than earlier, more complex, theories. As always, we can benefit from applying Ockham's Razor, which suggests that if you have to choose between different explanations, you should always pick the simplest.
This article started with a quotation from Albert Einstein. For those who find some of the conclusions here hard to swallow, we can end with another Einstein quotation.
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References and Links
 Isaac Newton. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaac_Newton .
 The Electromagnetic Spectrum. https://www.flickr.com/photos/advancedphotonsource/5940581568.
 Terence Witt. Our Undiscovered Universe. p.361. Aridian Press, 2007. See also  .
 Gamma-ray burst. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamma-ray_burst .
 Radio telescope. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio_telescope .
 Infrared telescope. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infrared_telescope .
 Parkes Observatory. http://www.csiro.au/en/Research/Facilities/ATNF/Parkes-radio-telescope/Parkes-Observatory-Visitors-Centre/Hours-location .
 Ultraviolet astronomy. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultraviolet_astronomy .
 Where do cosmic rays come from? http://www.hep.ph.bham.ac.uk/general/outreach/SparkChamber/text5h.html .
 David Noel. P3: Living In The Universe. http://www.aoi.com.au/Living/ .
 David Noel. P4: The Greater Averaged Universe. http://www.aoi.com.au/GAU/index.htm .
 Fraser Cain. What is the cosmic microwave background radiation?. http://phys.org/news/2014-03-cosmic-microwave-background.html .
 About Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation. http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/space/universe/sights/cosmic_microwave_background_radiation .
 David Noel. P2: The Oort Soup as the real origin of Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation . http://www.aoi.com.au/OortSoup/index.htm .
 David Noel. Temperatures of the Earth -- a Globe in Space (a re-analysis with some surprising results). http://www.aoi.com.au/bcw/EarthTemp/index.htm .
 Standard 1 & 2 EOL Review on emaze. https://www.emaze.com/@AOTZCRZI/Standard-1-&-2-EOL-Review- .
 Atom. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atom .
 Periodic Table Of Elements With Names And Symbols. http://removeandreplace.com/2015/09/09/periodic-table-of-elements-with-names-and-symbols/ .
 Atom Structure - Universe Today. http://www.universetoday.com/56747/atom-structure/ .
 Solar wind. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_wind .
 Michael W Friedlander. Cosmic Rays. Harvard University Press, 1989.
 Paul Glister. Heliospheric Crossings (and the Consequences). http://www.centauri-dreams.org/?p=9654 .
[23 Solar flare. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_flare 7 .
 Coronal mass ejection. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coronal_mass_ejection .
 What would happen if a massive comet crashed into the sun?. https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn27954-what-would-happen-if-a-massive-comet-crashed-into-the-sun/ .
 How many meteorites hit Earth each year?. http://curious.astro.cornell.edu/about-us/75-our-solar-system/comets-meteors-and-asteroids/meteorites/313-how-many-meteorites-hit-earth-each-year-intermediate .
 Comet Shoemaker-Levy Collision with Jupiter. http://www2.jpl.nasa.gov/sl9/ .
 Chicxulub crater. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicxulub_crater .
 How much interplanetary hydrogen could the Earth sweep up? http://zombal.com/zomb/scientific-question/how-much-interplanetary-hydrogen-could-the-earth-sweep-up .
 Terence Witt. Null Physics, Part 4: Cosmology. http://www.nullphysics.com/downloads/NULLCOSM.pdf .
 Yarkovsky effect. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yarkovsky_effect .
 David Noel. P1: The Cosmic Smog model for solar system formation, and the nature of 'Dark Matter'. http://www.aoi.com.au/bcw1/Cosmic/index.htm .
 David Noel. The Earth's Atmosphere [NU011]. http://www.aoi.com.au/NUSite/NU011.htm .
 Modelling an airless Earth. https://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2014/08/27/extending-a-new-lunar-thermal-model-part-ii-modelling-an-airless-earth/ .
 The life and death of a star. http://kotaku.com/5924866/the-evolution-of-stars-the-unusual-astronomy-of-mass-effect-halo-and-starcraft-ii .
 Stellar evolution. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stellar_evolution .
 The Death of Stars I: Solar-Mass Stars. http://www.atnf.csiro.au/outreach/education/senior/astrophysics/stellarevolution_deathlow.html .
 The Death of Stars II: High Mass Stars. http://www.atnf.csiro.au/outreach//education/senior/astrophysics/stellarevolution_deathhigh.html .
 What is the Smallest Star?. www.universetoday.com/25348/what-is-the-smallest-star/ .
 Neutron star. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutron_star .
 Neutron Star. https://www.pinterest.com/explore/neutron-star/ .
 These Amazing Neutron Star Facts Will Blow Your Mind. http://www.buzzle.com/articles/neutron-star-facts.html.
 Crab Nebula. p.361. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crab_Nebula .
 David Noel. Inside The Earth -- The Heartfire Model. http://www.aoi.com.au/bcw/Heartfire/index.htm .
 David Noel. Finally, the True Origin of Earthquakes? http://www.aoi.com.au/bcw1/Finally/index.htm .
 Pulsar. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pulsar .
 Black hole. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_hole .
 John Michell. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Michell .
 John Michell. http://pics-about-space.com/john-michell-black-hole?p=3#img11494485399856746759 .
 Schwarzschild Radius. astronomy.swin.edu.au/cosmos/S/Schwarzschild+Radius .
 Astrophysical jet. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astrophysical_jet .
 Monster Black Hole Is Biggest Ever Found. http://www.space.com/18668-biggest-black-hole-discovery.html .
 Slide 43 -- The Eye of the Beholder. http://slideplayer.com/slide/1416294/ .
 Milky Way's Central Bulge. http://www.solstation.com/x-objects/cenbulge.htm .
 Galactic Gamma-ray Emission. http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/Images/satellites/cosb_gcem.gif .
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Draft Version 1.0, 2016 Sep 11 - Dec 8.
First version 1.1 on Web, 2016 Dec 9. V. 1.2, with excluded "BitsAside", 2017 Jan 4.