mâdde-ye vâgen (#)
Fr.: matière dégénérée
Highly compressed matter in which the normal atomic structure has broken down and which, because of quantum-mechanical effects, exerts a pressure that is independent of temperature. Bodies with masses less than → Chandrasekhar's limit (1.4 solar masses) are supported by electron → degeneracy pressure and have densities of about 106 kg/m3. In collapsed stars of mass above 1.4 solar masses, gravity will overwhelm electron degeneracy and further collapse ensues. Electrons combine with protons to form neutrons, so producing a → neutron star. Because neutrons, like electrons, are → fermions and therefore subject to the → Pauli exclusion principle, at high enough densities, about 1014 kg/m3, neutron degeneracy pressure prevents further collapse of the star. For masses larger than 2-3 solar masses, even neutron degeneracy cannot prevent further collapse, and a → black hole is formed.