Researchers have discovered a new type of substance inside neutron stars.
Astrophysicists have found compelling evidence for the presence of exotic quark matter in the cores of the largest neutron stars.
Matter, familiar to us, consists of atoms, which include nuclei of protons and neutrons, surrounded by electrons. However, inside neutron stars after collapse, matter shrinks to an incredibly dense state in which all neutrons and protons are compressed so much that they actually create one giant nucleus.
A team of researchers from the University of Helsinki has found confirmation that matter inside massive neutron stars can assume an even more exotic state called quark matter. In this case, even protons and neutrons cease to exist, since they merge into a single whole..
By combining the latest advances in theoretical particle physics and nuclear physics with astrophysical measurements, scientists were able to determine the characteristics of matter inside the remains of the stars. Calculations showed that in some neutron stars the core of quark matter can exceed half of their diameter..
Nevertheless, according to the Finns themselves, there is still a small possibility that all neutron stars are composed only of nuclear matter, but in this case it must have very peculiar properties. For example, the speed of sound propagation in it will have to reach the speed of light.
Earlier, we also reported that scientists have found out, why photons from other galaxies don’t reach Earth.
text: Ilya Bauer, photo: University of Helsinki