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Wikenigma - an Encyclopedia of Unknowns Wikenigma - an Encyclopedia of the Unknown

'Strange' matter

'Normal' matter has atomic nuclei that are entirely composed of 'up' and 'down' Quarksplugin-autotooltip__plain plugin-autotooltip_bigQuarks

Following theoretical calculations, particle accelerator experiments in the 1970s confirmed that quarks are responsible for forming the nuclear particles - protons and neutrons.

Six 'flavours' of quark have now been identified. (ref.) Suggesting the obvious qu…
. It's known, however, that there are, in total, six types of quark - one of which is known as the 'strange' quark.

Multiple observations have shown that in isolation they spontaneously decay into 'up' quarks - in line with current theory.

In the mid 70s and early 80s, two nuclear physicists, Arnold Bodmer and Edward Witten proposed separately that it might be theoretically possible for stable matter to exist if its nuclei were formed from roughly equal numbers of 'up', 'down' and 'strange' quarks.

This is the so-called Strange Matter Hypothesis.

Small particles have been given the name Strangelets - but in theory strange matter could be stable at any size, and it has been proposed that entire 'Neutron Stars' could be formed from strange matter.

To date, no strange matter has ever been observed - either in high-energy nuclear experiments or as a result of cosmic rays.

Nevertheless, many physicists agree on the theoretical possibility that it could exist.

Recently, Strange Matter has been proposed as a possible candidate for Dark Matterplugin-autotooltip__plain plugin-autotooltip_bigDark Matter

"“The nature of the dominant component of galaxies and clusters remains unknown.”

Source: Measuring the dark matter equation of state (Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc. 415, L74–L77)"

In the 1930s, astronomical observations of galaxy rotations showed that the ou…

Further technical details Rutgers University (holden)


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