Nuclear Pasta Is Seriously Tough Stuff

Scientific Space Discovery No, this isn’t about a legendary Italian entree. When a star dies and a neutron star takes its place in the gravitational vacuum, a nucleus within...

Scientific Space Discovery

No, this isn’t about a legendary Italian entree. When a star dies and a neutron star takes its place in the gravitational vacuum, a nucleus within the star is bombarded by an outrageously strong gravitational force. The force exerted on this nucleus is so strong, the nucleus turns into nuclear material. This material is (hypothetically at least, since we can’t actually observe this) shaped like small tubes and sheets, not unlike rigatoni or lasagna. Hence the name “nuclear pasta.”

Scientists have known about nuclear pasta for a while now, but some new research has added a feature to this material’s impressive resume. Considering the immense force exerted upon the pasta, it is immeasurably dense, and with density comes tactile strength. Utilizing computer simulations, scientists at Indiana University Bloomington crunched the numbers to determine what it would take to break this stuff.

Consider this: you know how much force it takes to completely break a sheet of steel? Okay, take that force, multiply it by ten billion, and you might make a little tear in nuclear pasta.

Again, this is mostly hypothetical, since we can’t observe, and by extension cannot interact with, this reaction. But if this research is proven conclusively true, not only will we learn a lot about the contents and properties of the universe, we’ll also get some insight into the mysteries of gravitational waves.

Follow @TwistityNews