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IIT researchers find new clues to how stars die. Unsplash

Researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology IIT Guwahati have revealed important clues to understand the death of massive stars and have also revealed the problems with the existing models.

The study, done in collaboration with researchers from Max Planck Institute for Physics, Munich, Germany, and Northwestern University, US, indicates that all three species of the neutrinos from the supernovae are important contrary to the common treatments with only two flavours.


Neutrinos are considered to be the most crucial ingredient in the mechanism of core-collapse supernova explosions, death of large, massive stars. And supernovae is the super explosions at the time of death of large massive stars are considered to be the cradle of birth for new stars and synthesis of the heavy elements in nature.

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At the end of their life, the stars, especially massive ones, collapse resulting in an immense shock wave that causes the star to explode, briefly outshining any other star in its host galaxy.

The study of supernovae and the particles they release helps us understand the universe because almost all matter that makes up the universe is a result of these massive explosions.

“However, the mechanism of these super explosions is not yet completely solved and has remained one of the enigmas of nature,” said the researcher, Sovan Chakraborty, Assistant Professor, Department of Physics, IIT Guwahati.


The study was done in collaboration with researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Physics, Munich, Germany, and Northwestern University, US. Flickr

The solutions to the toughest challenges to the core-collapse mechanism of the huge supernovae come from the tiniest subatomic particles called neutrinos, according to a paper published in the journal Physical Review Letters (PRL).

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During the core-collapse supernova explosion, neutrinos are created in several particle processes. Due to their neutral nature and extremely weak interaction with stellar matter, the neutrinos escape the dying star and carry 99 per cent energy of the collapsing star.

Thus the tiny neutrinos are the only messenger bringing information from the deepest interiors of the star.

“This information is very crucial for the reason that in the extremely dense supernovae core neutrinos interact with other neutrinos and may interchange flavours. This conversion may happen rapidly (in nanosecond time scale) and flavour interchange can affect the supernovae process as the different flavours are emitted with different angular distribution,” Chakraborty said.

“These ‘fast’ conversions are nonlinear in nature and are not confronted in any other neutrino sources but supernovae. We for the first time did a non-linear simulation of fast conversion with ‘all’ the three neutrino flavours in supernovae,” Chakraborty added.

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This becomes possible as new supernova simulations show the presence of muons in the supernovae and in turn produce asymmetry between muon neutrinos and antineutrinos, taken to be zero otherwise, implying three flavour effects. (IANS)


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Taliban is being supported by other countries, who are asking the United Nations to work towards its economy and people.

At least 10 regional powers have joined the new Taliban rulers in Afghanistan in their call to the United Nations to help the country bail itself from the feared economic collapse and a humanitarian catastrophe.


At a regional-level meeting in Moscow, Russia, China, Pakistan, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan sided with the Taliban delegation and called on the UN to convene a United Nations donor conference at the earliest to help rebuild the ear-torn Afghanistan.

"It should take place with the understanding that the main burden should be borne by the forces whose military contingents have been present in Afghanistan over the past 20 years," said a joint statement of the Moscow conference.

Voices of concern and criticism were also raised against the United States, which opted not to attend the talks citing 'technical reasons'. The US was criticised for invading Afghanistan after September 11, 2001 and after 20 years, opted to an chaotic withdrawal, which created easy inroads for the Taliban to take control of the country.

It was also highlighted that international aid is the need of the hour for Afghanistan as any instability in the country would have a spillover effect on the regional countries and could threaten regional stability.

The Taliban takeover of Afghanistan has brought with it looming fears and memories of the '90s, when practices like public stoning, hardline setup and marginalisation of women were normal.

However, the Taliban, under the new government setup, have assured that rights of women will be guaranteed.

"Afghanistan will never allow its soil to be used as a base for anyone to threaten the security of another country," said Taliban Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi.

"Isolating Afghanistan is in no one's interest. The meeting is very important for the stability of the entire region," said Deputy Prime Minister in the Taliban setup, Abdul Salam Hanafi.

The regional powers, including Russia, have maintained that the Taliban are a new reality, calling on them to work towards the formation of an inclusive government with representation from all ethnic groups and political figures.

While the regional powers recognised the need for immediate aid and help for Afghanistan, they have declined to give official recognition to the Taliban government.

"Kremlin recognises Taliban's efforts to try and stabilise the situation in Afghanistan. A new administration is in power now. We note their efforts to stabilise the military and political situation and set up work of the state apparatus," said Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

The Moscow conference holds great importance, as it is the most significant international meeting since the Taliban takeover.

However, the Taliban have been given a clear direction to first meet and fulfil the promises they made when they assumed power, which includes rights to women and an ethnically inclusive government. (IANS/JB)

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