Chandra telescope discovered the superfluidity in the core of a neutron star


25/02/2011

X-ray Space Observatory "Chandra" has found the first direct evidence of superfluidity, abnormal physical state of matter in which there is no friction. Superfluid liquid created in a laboratory on Earth, demonstrated the incredible properties, for example, they climbed up and came out of the sealed containers. This discovery is important for understanding nuclear interactions in matter at the highest densities.

Neutron stars contain matter with the highest density, which can be observed directly. One teaspoon of neutron star material weighs six billion tons. The pressure in the core is so great that most of the particles which have charge: electrons and protons are merged together, so this is composed mainly of uncharged neutrons.

Independent research teams studied the supernova remnant Cassiopeia A, or Cas A for short, which is located at a distance of 11,000 light-years from us. It is believed that it exploded 330 years ago in the form in which it is seen from the Earth. The data obtained by Chandra showed a rapid decrease in temperature ultra-dense neutron star. She had cooled by about 4 percent in the last 10 years.

"The rapid cooling of the Cas A neutron star, seen by Chandra, is the first direct evidence that the core of a neutron star consists of a superfluid and superconductivity of the material," - said Peter Shternin of the Physico-Technical Institute. AF Joffe in St. Petersburg, Russia. He led the team, whose paper will be published in one of the world’s leading journals in astrophysics Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, which is published by the Royal Astronomical Society.

"Cas A may prove to be a real gift of the universe, as we were able to observe a very young neutron star at the right time," - said study co-author Madappa Prakash, from Ohio University. "In science, a little bit of luck, can make a big difference."

Superfluidity in the world, occurs at extremely low temperatures near absolute zero, but in neutron stars, this condition occurs when the temperature of a billion degrees Celsius.


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