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Neutron stars not sustained by degeneracy force?

  1. Apr 22, 2012 #1
    I have just attended a talk, where the speaker (a professor in Hong Kong University) claims that neutron stars don't collapse due to "nuclear forces". He further explains that those nuclear forces are residual strong forces (i.e. exchange of pions). However, the mainstream saying (according to Wikipedia) I've heard is that they are sustained by neutron degeneracy forces. Which is correct? And if it is indeed sustained by nuclear force, how does it work since as far as I know, nuclear forces are attractive.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 22, 2012 #2


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    Both are correct. The nuclear strong force only applies to atomic nuclei. It is what binds protons to neutrons and quarks to quarks. The pressure in a neutron star is great enough to disassemble atomic nuclei, and protons but, not enough to dismantle neutrons.
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