Cold Star (2013)
for string quartet
III. White Dwarf
selected for performance by the JACK Quartetfor the University of Iowa String Quartet Residency Program, 2013
selected for performance by the Fulcrum Point New Music String Quartet for Fulcrum Point New Music, 2017
Premiered by the JACK Quartet at the University of Iowa (IA)
JACK Quartet, University of Iowa
I. Proto - The life of a star begins when gravity collects clumps of hydrogen gas and dust from a nebula cloud and forms the clumps into smaller clouds. These clouds begin hundreds of degrees below 0 degrees Fahrenheit. As gravity compresses the material the center heats up. Gravity then flattens the cloud out into a disc where the center heats up to 2 million degrees Fahrenheit, creating a Protostar.
II. Equilibrium - Once the core reaches 18 million degrees Fahrenheit, nuclear fusion occurs. This fusion counteracts the force of the gravity throughout the life of the star, creating equilibrium. At this point, the star becomes a Main Sequence Star.
III. White Dwarf - A White Dwarf Star is the final stage in the life cycle of most stars. At this stage in the life cycle, the star is very dense. Once the fuel, created by the fusion of hydrogen and then helium during the star's Main Sequence stage, runs out, the star begins compacting electrons (electron degeneracy pressure) to hold up against the force of gravity. The energy and light that shines from a White Dwarf Star comes from the accumulation of energy from the previous stages during the lifetime of the star.