Kelvin Helmholtz time scale is an estimate of the time it takes a star to collapse after nuclear burning ceases. This time scale is obtained by taking the ratio of the gravitational binding energy and the luminosity

 t_{KH} = \frac{GM^2}{RL}

where  G is the gravitation constant,  M is the mass of the star,  R is its radius and  L its luminosity. For example, the Kelvin Helmholtz time of our sun is about 30 million years.

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