Physicists predict neutron stars may be bigger than previously imagined

When a giant star dies, a supernova explosion first occurs. Then, what is left becomes either a black hole or a neutron star.

The neutron star is the densest celestial body that astronomers can see, whose mass is about 1.4 times the size of the Sun. However, there is still little information about these influential objects.

Now, a researcher at Florida State University has published a piece in Physical Review Letters arguing that scientists need to rethink theories about the overall size of neutron stars for new measurements related to the neutron skin of the lead nucleus May be required.

In short, neutron stars may be larger than previously predicted scientists.

“The dimension of that skin, how it spreads further, is something that is related to the shape of the neutron star,” Robert O. Lawton physics professor George Pikerevicz said.

Pikerevicz and his colleagues have calculated that a new measurement of the thickness of the neutron skin of the lead indicates a range between 13.25 and 14.25 km for an average neutron star. Based on earlier experiments on neutron skin, other theories put the average size of neutron stars at about 10 to 12 kilometers.

Pikerevicz’s work complements a study published in Physical Review Letters by physicists with the Lead Radius Experiment (PREX) at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility. The PREX team conducted experiments that allowed them to measure the thickness of the neutron skin of the lead nucleus at 0.28 femtometers – or 0.28 trillionths of a millimeter.

An atomic nucleus consists of neutrons and protons. If the neutrons exceed the protons in the nucleus, the extra neutrons form a layer around the center of the nucleus. That layer of pure neutron is called the skin.

It is the thickness of the skin that has attracted both experimental and theoretical physicists because it can shed light on the overall shape and structure of the neutron star. And although the experiment was performed on lead, physics applies to neutron stars – objects that are one quintal (or trillion-million) times larger than the atomic nucleus.

Pikerevicz used the results reported by the PREX team to calculate new composite measurements of neutron stars.

“There is no experiment that we can do in the laboratory that can investigate the structure of neutron stars,” Pikerevicz said. “A neutron star is an alien object that we are not able to recreate in the laboratory. Therefore, everything that can be done in the lab to tell us or tell us about the properties of a neutron star is very helpful. is.”

The new results from the PREX team were larger than previous experiments, which certainly affect the overall theory and calculations related to neutron stars. Piekarevicz said that more work has yet to be done on this subject and new advances in technology are constantly increasing scientists’ understanding of space.

“It’s pushing the boundaries of knowledge,” he said. “We all want to know where we came from, what the universe is made of, and what is the ultimate fate of the universe.”

When a giant star dies, a supernova explosion first occurs. Then, what is left becomes either a black hole or a neutron star.

The neutron star is the densest celestial body that astronomers can see, whose mass is about 1.4 times the size of the Sun.

However, there is still little information about these influential objects. Now, a researcher at Florida State University has published a piece in Physical Review Letters arguing that scientists need to rethink theories about the overall size of neutron stars for new measurements related to the neutron skin of the lead nucleus May be required.

In short, neutron stars may be larger than previously predicted scientists.

“The dimension of that skin, how it spreads further, is something that is related to the shape of the neutron star,” Robert O. of Physics. Lawton Professor George Pikerevicz said.

Pikerevicz and his colleagues have calculated that a new measurement of the thickness of the neutron skin of the lead indicates a range between 13.25 and 14.25 km for an average neutron star. Based on earlier experiments on neutron skin, other theories put the average size of neutron stars at about 10 to 12 kilometers.

Pikerevicz’s work complements a study published in Physical Review Letters by physicists with the Lead Radius Experiment (PREX) at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility. The PREX team conducted experiments that allowed them to measure the neutron skin thickness of a lead nucleus at 0.28 femtometers – or 0.28 trillionths of a millimeter.

An atomic nucleus consists of neutrons and protons. If the neutrons exceed the protons in the nucleus, the extra neutrons form a layer around the center of the nucleus. That layer of pure neutron is called the skin.

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