The Hardest Known Substance in the Universe - Nuclear Pasta

A New Study Claims the Strongest Material in the Universe May Be 'Nuclear Pasta'

By scientists' calculations, nuclear pasta is about 10 billion times stronger than steel. A Nuclear Pasta as it named is the material inside a neutron star. This nuclear pasta has matter densities of 10g/cm.

"But if somehow a teaspoon of nuclear pasta magically teleported into the palm of your hand you'd die instantly because without the pressure of the star to hold it together it would explode like a nuclear bomb". These radiations can be detected using telescopes and indicate that the nature of neutron stars is unlike anything observed on Earth. These tiny spinning objects are only a dozen or so miles wide and yet pack in the entire mass of our sun.

Dr. Caplan and co-authors successfully ran the largest computer simulations ever conducted of neutron star crusts, becoming the first to describe how these break. They are formed due to particles from a supernova - degeneration or death of a star.

The substance of such stars in the depths of the core, form a kind of thread or clots, calling these structures "neutron cream". Underneath the crust, powerful forces roil between the neutrons and protons inside the neutron star's matter, causing the material to take on some surprising shapes, like long cylinders and flat planes.

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Voila! You have just made one of the universe's strangest concoctions - nuclear pasta. "This work only studied lasagna, but pasta comes in a lot of shapes".

"The strength of the neutron star crust, especially the bottom of the crust, is relevant to a large number of astrophysics problems, but isn't well understood", said lead author Dr. Matthew Caplan, a postdoctoral researcher at McGill University.

The strongest material in the known universe is a odd form of pasta - it's not campanelle, gnocchi, or penne, but rather an esoteric-like concoction called nuclear pasta, which is formed by the ungodly pressure found inside a neutron star. Their new results even suggest that lone neutron stars might generate small gravitational waves. "Their outer layer is the part we actually observe, so we need to understand that in order to interpret astronomical observations of these stars", added Caplan. This means that matter in neutron stars could be the strongest material in the universe.

Understanding the strength of nuclear pasta will help astronomers studying neutron stars to better understand their physical properties-allowing them to test out theories and models. With this result, many problems need to be revisited.


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