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Takim is the oldest of the known universes within Arahon, believed to have formed approximately 17 billion years PrF. It is remarkable mainly for its divergence from the parameters typical of other universes, as well as its general inhospitability to most forms of life.

CharacteristicsEdit

Takim is remarkable in that the values of its physical constants differ markedly from those of other universes, most notably its weak nuclear force, whose strength is many times that found throughout the multiverse. Additionally, Takim's electromagnetic force is somewhat weaker, while its subsumption index is markedly higher.

CosmologyEdit

[All dates presented are in standard cosmological form, with "ATF" substituting for "After Takim Formation."]

>10^-20 seconds: Takim balloons from a point within Softspace to a three-dimensional sphere during a period of rapid inflation.

>1 second ATF: As is true in other universes, all forces have by this time undergone symmetry-breaking, congealing into their current states and strengths. Takim has undergone its period of intense primordial nucleosynthesis, resulting in its unusual abundance of helium. The universe is ionized and opaque at this point, and it enters a period known as the Dark Age, also common to most universes.

~750,000 years ATF: The Dark Age ends as Takim cools sufficiently to allow atoms to capture electrons with their weakened electromagnetic force. The universe becomes transparent as light gains the ability to travel an almost unlimited distance without reabsorption.

~1 billion years ATF: The first massive stars form, but live for a mere two to five million years. Unlike most other universes, they do not undergo proper supernovae and instead implode, sequestering their heavier-element production rather than scattering it, and seeding the young cosmos with neutron stars and black holes.

~1.5 billion years ATF: The formation of large-scale structures is assisted by the abundance of hyperdense stellar objects as they nucleate star clusters and galaxies. Star formation continues, though the average size of stars is beginning to decrease.

2 billion-17 billion years ATF: The primary era for star production. Galaxies form, condense, and collide; galaxy clusters aggregate. Notable is the abundance of globular clusters, often seeded by a black hole of several thousand solar masses; the former account for many of the stars present in galaxies. Towards the end of this era, rates of star formation begin to decline, and those that do form are small red dwarfs. Likewise, planet formation is minimal (due to the comparative lack of elements such as iron or silicon) and mostly restricted to large gas giants, with an almost complete lack of more terrestrial worlds or moons.

Takim's current composition is estimated at approximately 70 percent hydrogen, 26 percent helium, 2 percent lithium, 0.75 percent carbon, 0.625 percent nitrogen, 0.375 percent oxygen, and 0.25 percent other heavier elements.

Stellar EvolutionEdit

Large stars (of approximately 10-50 solar masses) within Takim, though common early in its history, are now rare. Due to the decreased strength of the electromagnetic force and thus the Coloumb barrier that slows fusion reaction, these stars achieved fusion earlier and burned far hotter and more quickly than their counterparts in other universes. Thus, their lifetimes were limited to a mere one to five million years, and, because of the increased strength of the weak force and thus the increased potential for neutrino interactions, fail to properly explode when their cores cease fusing. Lacking any mechanism for effective energy dispersal, they, rather than going supernova, instead tend to undergo a dampened explosion that eventually results in most of the star's mass falling in to the resultant black hole.

Stars of medium size (2-10 solar masses) are similarly hotter than their counterparts in other universes, with a two-solar-mass main sequence star roughly corresponding to a Merat spectral class B3V emission. This more rapid, intense burning diminishes the lifetimes of these stars down to a maximum of approximately two billion years, as compared to eight to ten standard. Much of this loss can be attributed to a phenomenon unique to Takim: Helium-burning near the end of a main-sequence star's life cycle usually causes it to swell into a red giant and continue to burn for several billion years after it leaves the main sequence; however, in this universe, helium burning is near impossible. This is due to a peculiarity of the latter process that involves the temporary formation of a highly unstable beryllium-8 nucleus that serves as a "bridge" to carbon; in most universes within Arahon, the mean lifetime of the former is on the order of 10^-17 seconds, but in Takim, because of its strengthened weak nuclear force, the nucleus survives for a mere fraction of this time. As a result, stars that have begun to accumulate helium in their cores do not immediately burn it (they lack the temperature) but instead slowly swell to red giants over millions of years, fusing outer shells of hydrogen as the star's temperature increases. Eventually they do reach the critical point of helium ignition (quite suddenly as electron degeneracy loses its ability to prevent core collapse as heat and thus internal pressure are lost due to convection), which results in a phenomenon known as a helium flash; while stars in other universes do much the same, the flash intensity is proportional to the tenth power of the core's temperature, and the cores of these stars are several times hotter in Takim than elsewhere. Spontaneous core ignition thus creates a shock-front that races surfaceward through the inner layers of the star, resulting in a runaway reaction as the energy pulse begets yet wider burning throughout the helium-rich sun. The resultant detonation completely obliterates the star in a manner resembling the Type Ia supernova of other universes, but also spreads a limited quantity of heavier elements either fused or irradiated into existence during the blast throughout Takim.*

Small stars, of less than one solar mass, predominate in Takim. Unlike their heavier counterparts, these stars lack sufficient surface gravity to retain their outer layers after moving off of the main sequence, and thus the latter boil off into space as the star swells. As matter is lost, less pressure exists to further contract the core, and so electron degeneracy is sufficient to prevent core collapse, and the star becomes a white dwarf surrounded by a planetary nebula. As such, stars of this size are least affected by Takim's altered physics, and are simply slightly hotter and brighter than those in other universes, at the cost of reduced lifespan. Low-mass red dwarfs can sustain hydrogen burning for tens of billions of years, whereas solar-mass stars live for approximately five; thus, due to Takim's increased age, the former far predominate over any other type of star.

*Larger stars avoid this obliteration as, due to their greater mass and gravity, they overcome electron degeneracy far more quickly and less suddenly, as well as having lower helium content. Thus, they avoid the runaway reaction that destroys most mid-sized stars, and experience only a mild flash instead.

Other CharacteristicsEdit

The increased strength of the weak nuclear force within Takim means that many elements stable in other universes undergo radioactive decay; low-energy neutrinos, which interact via the weak nuclear force, also affect "normal" matter far more within this universe due to the increased strength of the former. The effects of these particles are also far more potent, as their interactions with nuclei transmute a neutron into a proton and an electron, further destabilizing nuclei whose binding is already less secure than elsewhere in the multiverse; large quantities of metals may undergo neutrino-catalyzed fission reactions akin to the detonation of a nuclear weapon.

Life has not yet been discovered within Takim, probably because very little of it has been explored. If life does exist, it is likely strange and near-unidentifiable.

ExplorationEdit

Due to the dearth of any valuable materials and general harshness of the surroundings, few sentient races have attempted any variety of exploration of Takim, especially due to its high subsumption index's quickly converting vessels into radioactive slag. As such would have posed no problem to the Starbuilders, however, it is likely forgotten outposts and technologies still lie dormant within Takim's vast wastes.

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