Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

I What is the size of neutrons in a neutron star?

  1. May 18, 2016 #1
    Does the pressure within a neutron star compress the neutrons to a smaller size?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 18, 2016 #2
    No. However, it squashes the electron cloud onto the nucleus were they neutralize the protons. What you are left with is an atom all squshed into the nucleus which in turn is madeup of neutrons only. Further, because neutrons don't mind been near other neutrons and the pressure is insanely high, basically the entire star collapses into a gargantuan size nucleus, which is madeup of densely packed neutrons only. The size of this nucleus is really huge by nuclear sizes. It measures no less than 11km and no more than 11.5km in diameter, depending of how closed the neutrons are squeezed. The mass is even more mesmerizing! 1 - 2 Solar masses, all neatly packed in an 11km ball! I hope this helps.
    Last edited: May 18, 2016
  4. May 18, 2016 #3
    Yes, thanks. But imagine a neutron star just a milligram less in mass than required to collapse it to a singularity. Are the neutrons really still the same size as they are without that pressure? Do the quarks in the neutrons get pressed closer together?
  5. May 18, 2016 #4


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted