Physicists have found a way to get a “piece” of a neutron star

Физики нашли способ получить «кусок» нейтронной звезды

In the center of the neutron star, where the pressure reaches extreme values, the quarks are free to move to other neutrons.

A group of nuclear physicists under the leadership of Bob Holdom (Bob Holdom) from the University of Toronto (Canada) showed that in laboratory conditions it is possible to recreate stable cold quark matter, similar to that which exists in the depths of neutron stars. At the same time, calculations show that it will only consist of bottom and top quarks, and the addition of strange quarks, which were previously considered to be its third component, will lead to the disintegration of matter. It is reported online edition of the Chronicle.info with reference to lenta.ru.

Quarks — fundamental particles that are not observed in the free state. Because of a phenomenon called confinement, exist only in units consisting of two, three, or four quarks of different varieties (flavors), held together by the strong nuclear interaction. Two bottom quark (d-) and single top-quark (u-) form a neutron.

However, according to a popular hypothesis, in the centre of the neutron star, where the pressure reaches extreme values, the quarks are free to move to other neutrons. The result is a quark matter, which is to ensure its stability should also contain “strange” quarks (s-quarks) with a large mass.

In the laboratory, physicists have obtained a fabric consisting of a strange, top and bottom quarks and the existing ten to the minus ninth power seconds before the collapse. Scientists assumed that this matter can be stable if exist in the form of straples — clots of large mass, but lower energy than conventional cores. In the new work, physicists have considered the effects quarks of different flavors on the fluctuations of a quantum system in the ground state (zero fluctuations of the vacuum). It turned out that the appearance of strange quarks leads to a high energy penalty, so that a stable quark matter must consist only of d – and u-quarks.

This result suggests that when a large amount of mass a little greater than the mass of a chemical element of Oganesova, it is possible to obtain in laboratory conditions for stable quark matter, consisting of upper and lower quarks. At the same time, the researchers admit that in the depths of neutron stars, strange quarks might still exist due to the extreme density.

Straplike, or strangley — hypothetical objects, which are analogs of atomic nuclei, but consisting of “strange” particles, the quarks having three different flavors, instead of two as protons and neutrons. They may also represent clusters “soup”, consisting of equal numbers of u, d and s quarks. Some scientists assume that stripelike can reach astronomical proportions. In addition, it is assumed that their clash with ordinary atomic nuclei will provoke a transformation of the latter into the same stripelike that will cause a chain reaction. This phenomenon formed the basis of a hypothetical scenario of the destruction of the Earth large hadron Collider, which, however, considered impossible.

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