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Can mass be compressed indefinitely?

  1. Aug 8, 2012 #1
    Hello, im really new here and im not sure if this is in the right secion, i just got a question about something i've thought about for a while.

    If we assume that there is an infinite amount of energy in the universe, does that mean that there would teoretically be no limit on how much an object could be compressed?

    I know that objects probably would get really hot if compressed enough, but still, speaking theoretically, if there is no limit on the power that compresses it..

    What happens when the atoms simply can't get any closer to eachother, is there such a limit?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 8, 2012 #2
    You can create an infinitely compressed object with a finite amount of energy. It's possible to gather enough mass together that its gravitational pull overcomes any possible internal pressure that would keep the mass from collapsing on itself. So the mass collapses on itself, and becomes a black hole, at the center of which is a "singularity"--an infinitely dense point mass.
  4. Aug 9, 2012 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    When atoms are compressed to extremely high densities they break down, with the electrons being "absorbed" into the protons to form neutrons. This happens in a neutron star, which is the densest object known to exist besides a black hole. Increase the pressure further and it is theorized that the neutrons will break down and become a soup like material of quarks and gluons, which are what make up all hadrons. (Hadrons are particles made up of quarks, such as neutrons and protons)
  5. Aug 9, 2012 #4
    Thanks for all the great answers, i will begin to translate them as well! Haha

  6. Aug 9, 2012 #5


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    Gold Member

    Actually, "singularity" is more appropriately described as "the place where our models break down and we really don't know WHAT is happening". I think most physicists do not actually think that the singularity is an "infinitely dense point mass". If there are experts here who think I'm wrong, I'm certainly open to correction.
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