●Evidence of Lithium Production in Stars
•Recently, scientists from the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) have provided evidence for the first time that Lithium (Li) production is common among low mass Sun-like stars during their Helium (He) core burning phase
•Scientists performed a large-scale systematic investigation of the ‘He-flash’ (on-set of He-ignition at the star’s core via violent eruption), at the end of the star’s core hydrogen-burning phase.
[Hydrogen burning is the fusion of hydrogen nuclei into a helium nucleus.]
•This He-flash has been identified as the source of Li production suggesting that all low-mass stars undergo Li production
•The study challenges the long-held idea that stars only destroy lithium and indicates that there is some physical process missing in stellar theory.
•The origin of much of the Li can be traced to the Big-Bang that happened about 13.7 billion years ago.
•Over the course of time, Li content in the physical universe has increased by about a factor of four, which is meagre compared to the rest of the elements which grew about a million times.
•Stars are primary contributors to the significant enhancement of heavier elements through mass ejections and stellar explosions. Li, however, was thought to be an exception till now.
Usage of Lithium:
•Lithium is a light inflammable metal which is mainly used in lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries and has brought a transformation in modern communication devices and transportation.
•It is used in the manufacturing of aircrafts.
•It is also used in mental health. Lithium carbonate is a common treatment of bipolar disorder, helping to stabilize wild mood swings caused by the illness.