Re: [sl4] giant planets ignition - one more existential risk

From: Alexei Turchin (
Date: Fri Dec 12 2008 - 07:21:17 MST

Gs, it is very important to dicuss here explosion of the planets,
because you could see here how all cognitive biases works and prevent
to realize that the threat is real.

For exmple you said that explosion of supernovas is driven of
gravitational forses. It is true, but only for supernova of so called
II type.

You forget to mention that supernovas of Ia type explode because of
detonation of carbon.

"However, the current view is that this limit is not normally
attained; increasing temperature and density inside the core ignite
carbon fusion as the star approaches the limit (to within about
1%[30]), before collapse is initiated.[4] Within a few seconds, a
substantial fraction of the matter in the white dwarf undergoes
nuclear fusion, releasing enough energy (12 1044 joules)[31] to
unbind the star in a supernova explosion".

There is a bid difference between burning and detonation. An it is
correct to use word "detonation" to fusion:

"Carbon detonation is the violent re-ignition of thermonuclear fusion
in a dead star, which produces a Type Ia supernova. A white dwarf
undergoes carbon detonation only if it has a normal binary companion
which is close enough to the dwarf star to dump sufficient amounts of
matter onto the dwarf, expelled during the process of the companion's
own late stage evolution."

How you could be so sure in obviusly wrong statements? Or - how could
be I so sure in obviusly wrong statements from your point of view? :)
On 12/12/08, GS <> wrote:
> Okay, to put it right, all the time you say one can't compare
> a "slow burning" in stars with a "detonation". A star detonates all the
> time
> if you want to look at it like that, it just can't explode to _somewhere_,
> because
> the gravity holds it all together. That is the principle of hydrostatic
> equilibrium.
> What you are comparing is the detonation of explosives, a chemical reaction
> which
> happens namely in the valence shell of the molecules with the detonation of
> a nucleus reaction which happens on the inside of atom nuclei.They aren't
> comparable, it's not even the same force (electromagnetic vs. strong force)
> And a supernova explosion is even a far more absurd analogy. The supernova
> explosion
> is drive by the gravitational force. When the star has burnt all of its
> fuel, which
> means that the main part of the matter is now iron then the fusion reaction
> would consume
> more energy than it would generate. Therefore the fusion reaction stops and
> because
> there is no more hydrostatic equilibrium the gravity pulls all the mass
> together
> compressing the whole star to the point where the atoms "touch each other".
> That only
> can happen when there is an enormous amount of mass, more than our sun
> has.At this point, when no more contraction is possible, all the kinetic
> energy the atomsgained while falling into the center of the star, produce a
> huge shock wave.
> Therefore the kinetic energy is reversed (elastic collision) and besides of
> forming
> atoms heavier than iron this energy is used to drive the matter in a huge
> explosion
> outward into the space, what we see as a supernova explosion.
> Besides of all the lacking evidence for your thesis, I think we should
> concentrate ourdiscussion here to the Singularity and AGI. That's the
> purpose of this list, and wecan't discuss all risky stuff that we can think
> of. (wildly mutation of lethal virus,
> creating black hole inside earth, the US president spontaneously decides to
> ignite
> all atomic weapons at once, and so on...)
> I always enjoyed reading good discussions here and wouldn't want to miss
> that for a
> theory which in my eyes has no scientific foundation.
> Sincerely, GS
> On Fri, 12 Dec 2008 11:35:11 +0100, Alexei Turchin
> <> wrote:
> > So, if it is not clear, after detonation Jupiter will become a large
> > cloud of gase with temperature of millions K. The speed of expanding
> > of this cloud would be arround thousands k/ sec. Of couse it would
> > cool quikly. But it would be similar to supernova eplosion, just
> > million times weaker. But it is still enoght to destroy our
> > atmosphere.
> >
> --
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