The Most Dangerous Stuff in the Universe – Strange Stars Explained

by birtanpublished on August 21, 2020

Neutron stars are the densest things that are not black holes in there cause we might find the most dangerous substance in existence strange matter a bizarre thing so extreme that it bends the rules of the universe and could infect and destroy everything it comes

Into contact with or it could teach us about how the universe began maybe both to understand how extreme strange matter ready is we first need to get a few basics what is a neutron star and how does strange matter

Break the rules of the universe to get all of this into one video we'll grossly oversimplify a few things but we'll provide you with further reading if you want more details the neutron star is what remains after a very massive star

Explodes in a supernova when this happens the Stars core collapses under its own gravity with such a strong inward force that it squeezes nuclei and particles together violently electrons are pushed into protons so they merge

And turn into neutrons although nothing inside of atoms is suddenly completely filled with particles that really don't want to be close to each other but have no choice they desperately push back against gravity against the collapse if

Gravity wins they will become a black hole if they win they become a neutron star this makes neutron stars like giant atomic nuclei the size of a city but holding the mass of our Sun and here

Things get weird the environment in the core of neutron stars is so extreme that the rules of nuclear physics change and this could lead to a strange and extremely dangerous substance but let's not get ahead of ourselves we first need

To know the rules before we learn how they can be broken protons and neutrons the particles making up the nuclei of atoms are made up of smaller particles called quarks quarks really don't want to be alone

They are what we call confined you can try to separate them but the harder you pull the harder they try to pull themselves back together if you use a lot of energy they just use this energy to create new quarks quarks only exists

Together as the building blocks of other particles and have never been observed by themselves they come in many types but only to appear to make stable matter the up and down quarks found in protons and neutrons all other quarks seem to

Decay away quickly but this may be different insight neutron stars the forces operating in their cores are so extreme that they are actually similar to the universe shortly after the Big Bang neutron star cores are like fossils

Which can let us peer back in time to the beginning of everything so learning how quarks behave inside a neutron star is a way of understanding the very nature of the universe itself one hypothesis is that inside a neutron

Star core protons and neutrons D confine all the particles crammed shoulder-to-shoulder dissolve and melt into a sort of bath of quarks uncountable numbers of particles become one giant thing made purely from quarks

Quark matter a star made from this is called a quark star though from the outside it may not look any different than a regular neutron star now we can finally talk about the most dangerous substance if the pressure inside a quark

Star is great enough it may get stranger literally in the course of neutron stars some of the quarks may be converted into strange quarks strange quarks have bizarre nuclear properties and they are heavier and for the lack of a better

Word stronger if they turn up they could create strange matter strange matter might be the ideal state of matter perfectly dense perfectly stable indestructible more stable than any other matter in the universe so stable

That it can exist outside neutron stars if this is the case we have a problem it might be infectious every piece of matter it touches might be so impressed by its stability that it would immediately turn it into strange matter

Two protons and neutrons would dissolve and become part of the quark bath which frees energy and creates more strange matter the only way to get rid of it would be to throw it into a black hole but then again who cares all of it is

Inside neutron stars except when neutron stars collide with other neutron stars or black holes they spew out tremendous amounts of their insides some of which could include little droplets of strange matter called strangelets strangelets

Are as dense as the core of a neutron star they could be really small maybe even subatomic but even the largest strangelets wouldn't be any bigger than a rocket these strangelets would drift through

The galaxies for millions or billions of years until they meet a star or planet by chance if one were to strike earth it would immediately start converting it into strange matter the more it converts the more it would grow ultimately all of

The atoms making up earth would be converted earth would become a hot clump of strange matter the size of an asteroid if a strangelet strikes the Sun it would collapse into a strange star eating through it like fire through a

Dry forest this would not change the sun's mass much but it would become way less bright so earth would freeze to death and like a tiny virus we'd have no way to see a strangelet coming were still some

Theories suggest strangelets are more than common outnumbering all stars in the galaxy the strangelets could have formed very early after the Big Bang when it was as hot and dense as a neutron star core everywhere

They might be clumping around the gravity of galaxies as the universe expanded and evolved strangelets could even be so numerous and massive that they might actually be the dark matter we suspect holds galaxies together but

Then again maybe not this is speculation and the earth and Sun and planets haven't been consumed in a wildfire of strangelets in the past few billion years so the odds seem good that it won't happen anytime soon

Understanding these strange objects today may be the key to understanding the birth of our universe and why it grew to look the way it does now when scientists first started playing with magnets and wise and thinking about

Electrons they had no idea how technology would evolve in the next hundred years the scientists thinking about the cause of neutron stars and strange matter today may be setting up humans for a future beyond our wildest

Imaginations or maybe not time will tell so while you're waiting to see if the universe gets destroyed you might still want to find out more about it we've got you our friends from brilliant can be your insight into a whole world

Of science black holes and all brilliant is a website that helps you tackle science in a practical way with interactive problem solving courses and daily challenges in maths logic and engineering each problem gives you all

The tools you need to crack complex topics all by yourself it's learning by doing but with your brain instead of your hands use your curiosity to get to the bottom of puzzles and courses about things like classical mechanics

Astronomy gravitational physics and much more if you click the link in the description or visit brilliant org slash nutshell you can sign up for free and learn more things than you can imagine and there's an extra perk for course cos

Aren't viewers the first six hundred and eighty eight people to use the link get 20% off their annual membership which lets you view all the daily problems in the archives and unlock every course brilliant helps you end your day a

Little smarter you might get hooked on the experience

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