Strangelet - Theoretical Possibility - Strange Matter Hypothesis

Strange Matter Hypothesis

The known particles with strange quarks are unstable because the strange quark is heavier than the up and down quarks, so strange particles, such as the Lambda particle, which contains an up, down, and strange quark, always lose their strangeness, by decaying via the weak interaction to lighter particles containing only up and down quarks. But states with a larger number of quarks might not suffer from this instability. This is the "strange matter hypothesis" of Bodmer and Witten. According to this hypothesis, when a large enough number of quarks are collected together, the lowest energy state is one which has roughly equal numbers of up, down, and strange quarks, namely a strangelet. This stability would occur because of the Pauli exclusion principle; having three types of quarks, rather than two as in normal nuclear matter, allows more quarks to be placed in lower energy levels.

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Strangelet - Debate About The Strange Matter Hypothesis
... The strange matter hypothesis remains unproven ... any of the objects we call neutron stars could be shown to have a surface made of strange matter, this would indicate that strange matter is stable at zero pressure ... But there is no strong evidence for strange matter surfaces on neutron stars (see below) ...

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