The physics of neutron stars
What is a Neutron Star- A neutron star is a star that is condensed down to a state that its gravity is so strong that it is 1.5 times the mass of the sun but with a diameter roughly the size of Manhattan, New York. A sugar cube sized peice of matter from a neutron star would weigh one hundred million tons on earth.
How are they created- A Neutron Star is made from a star 4-8 times the size of our sun that explodes into a supernovae. After the explosion only the core remains and fusion soon stops and gravity compresses the star. The gravity of the star compresses the electrons and protons into neutrons.
Hydrogen-Helium-Carbon-Neon-Oxygen-Silicon-Iron. These are the steps that the core of the star fuses into. When it reaches Iron, it cant fuse into a heavier element and the outward pressure from the fusion is stopped.
The Core- No one is for sure about what is in the core of a Neutron star. Two main speculations are theorized. The first is a superfluid neutron degenerate matter. The second is theorized to be super dense quark matter called Quark-Gluon Plasma.
Pulsars- Pulsars are when the neutron star spins at a high rate with a lot of energy, this produces waves that act like pulses through water. As the star loses energy and ages, it eventually stops pulsing. A neutron star that is close to another larger star can feed off the energy of that larger star can spin up too several hundred times per second.
For example, the PSRJ1748-2446ad Neutron star spins at approximately 252,000,000 km/h. 24% the speed of light.
Statistics- The magnetic field of a neutron star is a trillion time greater than that of earth.
Surface Temp.= 1 million Kelvin Surface Temp. of our sun= 5800 Kelvin
The maximum irregularities on a neutron star is 5 mm. The Atmosphere made up of hot plasma is 10 cm.
If you were to drop an object from 1 meter above the surface, the object would accelerate to 7,200,000 km/h. And it would take 1 microsecond.
Citations- National Geographic. (2014). Neutron stars: incomprehensible density. Retreived on
October 22, 2014 from
Kurzgesagt. (2014, September 3). Atoms as big as mountains — neutron stars explained
[Video file]. Retreived from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZW3aV7U-aik .