This article was published on June 13, 2020

Quark matter — the fifth state of matter within neutron stars

The densest stars of all — neutron stars — may have an even denser core, where even neutrons are crushed to pieces.

Quark matter — the fifth state of matter within neutron stars Image by: Unsplash: Joel Filipe
The fabric of spacetime experiences ripples during events like the collision of neutron stars, as seen here in a simulation. Video credit: Numerical Relativity Simulation: T. Dietrich (Nikhef), Wolfgang Tichy (Florida Atlantic University) and the CoRe-collaboration Scientific Visualization: T. Dietrich (Nikhef), S. Ossokine, and A. Buonanno (Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics) / .gif creation by The Cosmic Companion
Neutron stars could possess quark cores, where gravitational pull is so great, not even protons and neutrons can withstand the pressure, collapsing into component particles, called quarks. Image credit: Jyrki Hokkanen CSC — IT Center for Science
A technician carefully inspects mirrors at the Livingston facility of the LIGO observatory. By shining a laser on the instrument, dust or other contaminants can be identified. Image credit: Matt Heintze/Caltech/MIT/LIGO Lab

This article was originally published on The Cosmic Companion by James Maynard, founder and publisher of The Cosmic Companion. He is a New England native turned desert rat in Tucson, where he lives with his lovely wife, Nicole, and Max the Cat. You can read this original piece here.

Astronomy News with The Cosmic Companion is also available as a weekly podcast, carried on all major podcast providers. Tune in every Tuesday for updates on the latest astronomy news, and interviews with astronomers and other researchers working to uncover the nature of the Universe.

Also tagged with