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Abundance Of Lithium In Stars

Abundance Of Lithium In Stars:

Scientists have found a clue to the mystery behind the high abundance of Lithium in some evolved stars.

  • The mystery is the reason behind the high abundance of Lithium in stars, which according to predicted models must get destroyed in the hot plasma of the star.
  • Lithium is a trace element on Earth, and a key component of rechargeable batteries.
  • The research involved the investigation of lithium among red giants showed that just about 1% of sun-like red giants had a lithium-enriched surface.
  • The research surveyed (called GALAH – named after a common Australian bird) a collection of about 500,000 stars with well-determined physical and chemical properties, including lithium abundances.
  • Regarding the reason for Lithium production, scientists have for the first time confirmed that all the lithium-rich stars are burning helium in their core.
  • They speculated that lithium production is linked to the violent helium-core flash.
  • It is proposed to be a simple and short sequence of nuclear reactions involving a collision between the two stable helium isotopes which led to a stable lithium isotope.
  • The survey revealed the rare presence of lithium-rich giants in all the Sun-like low-mass stars.

Lithium:

  • It is a chemical element with the symbol Li.
  • It is a soft, silvery-white metal.
  • Under standard conditions, it is the lightest metal and the lightest solid element.
  • It is highly reactive and flammable, and must be stored in mineral oil.
  • Lithium has become the new ‘white gold’ as the demand for high performing rechargeable batteries is rising.
  • Rising global lithium demand and surging prices have drawn increased interest in the so-called ‘lithium triangle’ that spans parts of Argentina, Bolivia and Chile.

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