What is a Quark Star?
A quark star is a hypothetical neutron star with a core of superdense strange quark matter. The basic principle is that thematter within a quark star is more densely packed, even thannuclear matter. This ‘squashed’ area is thought to be composed of free quarks, or crystallized [material arranged into a lattice] sub-nuclear particles, rather than neutrons.To understand a quark star, we must consider a neutron star.The most compact
objects in the universe known to exist areneutron stars; 16 miles across and about 1.5 times as massive asour Sun. The density is perhaps a thousand million million tons per cubic metre,1000 million million times that of water.(Moore 0,p.269) (Spacedaily.com 2008)
A neutron star is the result of an area of space, with extremely highmass, and small volume. They are usually formed by thegravitational collapse of a giant star at the end of a supernova.This collapse is caused when the star can no longer sustain tqheprocesses that counteract the crushing effects of gravity on themass of the star. (Odenwald n.d.)The theory is that within this collapsing star, gravitational pressureis high enough to overcome the nuclear bonds that repel normalmatter, creating
neutron degenerate matter;
electrons fusewith protons, creating a substance consisting of nothing butneutrons. This is a ‘typical’ neutron star.A hypothetical upper limit to this mass is the
, and mass more concentrated thanthis is thought to degenerate into quark matter, or collapse into ablack hole. Many scientists believe that there would be
neutronto quark phase change, and that such objects would collapseimmediately into black holes(Seggewiss & de Boer 2009, p.233)
Anyone who has seen ice melt has seen matter change phases,and when electrons, atoms and other specs of matter changequantum phases, they
behave just as differently as do ice and water in a glass.
Quark stars are the product of the ‘
’ hypothesis.The protons and neutrons of normal matter in the everyday worldare made of two types of quark –‘up’ and ‘down’. This baryonic