It’s called a tetraquark, and it could be a new form of matter only found in the heart of neutron stars and theoretically, quark stars:
Very simply, the traditional model of a neutron star is that it is made of neutrons. Neutrons consist of three quarks (two down and one up), but it is generally thought that particle interactions within a neutron star are interactions between neutrons. With the existence of tetraquarks, it is possible for neutrons within the core to interact strongly enough to create tetraquarks. This could even lead to the production of pentaquarks and hexaquarks, or even that quarks could interact individually without being bound into color neutral particles. This would produce a hypothetical object known as a quark star.
This is a selective list of some short stories and novels that use more or less accurate science and can be used for teaching or reinforcing astronomy or physics concepts. Included are both traditional “science-fiction” and (occasionally) more serious fiction that derives meaning or plot from astronomy or physics ideas.
Courtney Love discovers direct evidence of Big Bang cosmic inflation, and by Courtney Love, I mean scientists
Researchers from the BICEP2 collaboration today announced the first direct evidence for this cosmic inflation. Their data also represent the first images of gravitational waves, or ripples in space-time. These waves have been described as the “first tremors of the Big Bang.” Finally, the data confirm a deep connection between quantum mechanics and general relativity.
Physicists in Germany and the US developed an entirely new kind of particle that doesn’t exist in nature, called a dropleton.
Writing in the journal Nature, they said it behaves a bit like a liquid droplet and described it as a quasiparticle — an amalgamation of smaller types of particles.
The discovery, they added, could be useful in the development of nanotechnology, including the design of optoelectronic devices. These include things like the semiconductor lasers used in Blu-ray disc players.
The microscopic quantum droplet does not dawdle. In the physicists’ experiments using an ultra-fast laser emitting about 100 million pulses per second, the quantum droplet appeared for only about 2.5 billionths of a second.
Ever been sitting around wondering if you could survive the impact of meteorite the size of your house if it landed in the next town over? I know I have. Time to bring the science. Purdue University’s interactive tool has its drawbacks, and it’s more data driven than visual, but it’s still fun.
Conventional thinking has it that the universe and all the matter within it exploded out from a single point, the so-called Big Bang Singularity. But a German theoretical physicists says this never happened. Instead, the universe started empty and cold, slowly emerging from a deep freeze.