Latest Exotic matter Stories
Using the ESA’s XMM-Newton and NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, astronomers have located a mysterious X-ray signal that could be produced by sterile neutrinos – particles that are a potential candidate for the abundant and essentially invisible substance known as dark matter.
In a discovery decades in the making, scientists have detected the first of a “theoretical” class of stars first proposed in 1975 by physicist Kip Thorne and astronomer Anna Żytkow.
XMM-Newton has revealed a unique star. It is a celestial chimera with the body of a normal massive star yet the magnetic field of a dead, stellar dwarf. This makes it a singular object among the billions of known stars.
When a massive star reaches the end of its life, it explodes in a brilliant supernova explosion. The remnant of the stellar core will usually form either a neutron star or a black hole.
Researchers searching for planets orbiting around a distant star look for a signature dimming of that star’s light, but what if the distant star suddenly gets a bit brighter?
Physicist Richard Schnee hopes to find traces of dark matter by studying particles with low masses and interaction rates, some of which have never been probed before
A new study of gamma-ray light from the center of our galaxy makes the strongest case to date that some of this emission may arise from dark matter, an unknown substance making up most of the material universe.
A University of Maryland research team provides visual evidence confirming computer simulations of a special type of ripple that dissipates energy in extremely cold liquid helium.
A University of Maryland research team provides visual evidence confirming computer simulations of a special type of ripple that dissipates energy in extremely cold liquid helium. The research could lead to advances in superconductors.
Dark matter research, like all experiments involving particle and astrophysical detections, relies on sorting out the desired events (the source events) from the noise (the background events). Since the interactions occur at a quantum level, the statistical process of sorting through the data is laborious, but also, more importantly, relies on your ability to calibrate and understand the instrument.
WIMP -- In astronomy, WIMPs, or weakly interacting massive particles, figure into one explanation of the dark matter problem. The particles are called "weakly interacting" because they seem not to have much interaction with normal matter (electrons, protons, and neutrons) other than gravitational attraction (thus "massive"). Assuming that there are Weakly Interacting Massive Particles, these particles would then fall out of equilibrium with the universe when they are non-relativistic....
White Dwarf -- A white dwarf is a a star supported by electron degeneracy. A star like our Sun will become a white dwarf when it has exhausted its nuclear fuel. Near the end of its nuclear burning stage, such a star goes through a red giant phase and then expels most of its outer material (creating a planetary nebula) until only the hot (T > 100,000 K) core remains, which then settles down to become a young white dwarf. A typical white dwarf is half as massive as the Sun, yet only...
Supernova -- A supernova is a star that increases its brightness drastically within a matter of days, making it appear as if a "new" star was born (hence "nova"). The "super" prefix distinguishes it from a mere nova, which also involves a star increasing in brightness, though to a lesser extent and through a much different mechanism. Astronomers have classified supernovae in several classes, according to the lines of different elements that appear in their spectra. The first element...
Strange Matter -- Strange matter (also known as quark matter) is an ultra-dense phase of matter that is theorized to form inside particularly massive neutron stars (which are then known as "strange stars" or "quark stars"). It's theorized that when neutronium is put under sufficient pressure due to the gravitation of a large neutron star, the individual neutrons break down and their constituent quarks form strange matter. Strange matter is composed of strange quarks bound to each...
Massive Compact Halo Object (MACHO) -- Massive compact halo objects, or MACHOs, are a type of astronomical body proposed as one possible explanation for the presence of dark matter in galactic halos. A MACHO is a small chunk of normal baryonic matter, far smaller than a star, which drifts through interstellar space unassociated with any solar system. Since MACHOs would not emit any light of their own, they would be very hard to detect. Recent work has suggested that MACHOs are not...
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