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Neutron Star on Earth

  1. Dec 24, 2003 #1
    I heard, somewhere, that an thimble full of a neutron star would weigh on earth many thousands of elephants.
    Hmmm... I suppose that this is true.
    But I wonder this: With all of our advanced technologies, is it possible to form such high density matter, even a thimble full, in an earth lab?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 25, 2003 #2
    Could scientists even get remotely close? What is the highest density matter that has ever been formed on Earth?
  4. Dec 25, 2003 #3


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    No. If we did the weight would be to heavy for us to keep it anywhere. If we were to set it on the ground it would fall and fall straight through the earth. If it hadn't reached escape velocity it would fall back to the earth make another tunnel straight through the earth and repeat Steps 1-4 over and over.
  5. Dec 25, 2003 #4
    Look, I don't mean creating an entire neutron star! I thought my question was clear: Is it possible to create a thimble full amount of the material using current or potential technologies.
    Or if not, as phi1978 suggests: what is the highest density matter experimentally produced?
  6. Dec 25, 2003 #5


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    I thought my answer was clear. NO.

    Check your table of materials, what is the densest element. There will be your answer.
  7. Dec 25, 2003 #6
    I don't think this is entirely accurate. Check out this article:

    "Highest Density of Matter Created in Experiment, Scientists Say
    By SPACE.com Staff
    posted: 04:44 pm ET
    16 January 2001

    Collisions between gold ions in the Brookhaven National Laboratory's newly operational Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) have created the highest density matter ever achieved in a scientific experiment, researchers said Monday.

    "The clear observation of so many species of well-known particles, ranging from common to quite rare ones, indicates that the RHIC detectors are working spectacularly and that the real exploration can begin," said William Zajc, scientific spokesperson for RHIC's PHENIX detector, in a prepared statement. Zajc is one of the nearly 1,000 physicists working on RHIC.

    Physicists who studied the debris streaming from the collisions concluded that densities more than 20 times higher than those within the nuclei of ordinary matter had been produced. Temperatures in the compressed matter topped 1 trillion degrees. The Brookhaven scientists said measurements at the accelerator, if confirmed, indicate they produced matter with a density approaching two times the record announced last year at the CERN particle physics laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland."

    http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/generalscience/collider_results_010116.html [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
  8. Dec 25, 2003 #7


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    he did say "Thimble full"

    So I ruled out results of collider experiments, which yields only a few particles, definitly not a "thimble full".

    Interesting non the less.
  9. Dec 25, 2003 #8


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    It doesn't matter if it is just a thimble full. The density of neutronium is about 1010 kg/c³. That means that one cubic centimeter of it would weigh 1010 kilograms.

    A large elephant can be as massive as 5000 kg so it would take take about 20,000,000 elephants to equal the mass of 1 cc of neutronium.

    Now imagine the weight of 20,000,000 elephants pressing down on an area of 1 square centimeter. Any material known would support it about as much as water will support a hunk of lead.
  10. Dec 26, 2003 #9
    Good point
  11. Dec 26, 2003 #10
    Thats impressive, i reckons i could hold it.
  12. Dec 26, 2003 #11


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    Thank You Sir.
  13. Dec 26, 2003 #12
    What about a Bose-Einstein condensate? That's at the other extreme of the temperature scale. What kind of densities do these things achieve (or does the smearing out of the atom's positions make density an inappropriate term)?
  14. Dec 26, 2003 #13
    The largest controlled density in laboratory is either from the compression of deuterium in laser fusion, or from a diamond anvil driven by dynamite upon test matter.
  15. Dec 27, 2003 #14
    I love physics! Who but a true mad scientist (and I mean that as a term of honor) would call a fusion explosion "controlled"? Plus, I'd love to see the experimental setup that pushes a diamond anvil cell with TNT. That's gotta be a fun job!
  16. Dec 27, 2003 #15
    Great responses from all. I have learned a thing or two. The reason I asked this Q was because of the potential applications utilizing extremely high density matter. For example, energy storage systems utilizing flywheels are outstanding in concept and application. Indeed, many are in use now, from the space program to vehicle propulsion. And, should anything more be said about the enormous potential for it's use in gravity experiments!
    Anyway, thanks for all the insight, and I am sure this work will go forward.
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