Thursday, April 24, 2008

Thought for the day

The main question about strangelets concerns their stability. The known particles with strange quarks are unstable because the strange quark is heavier than the up and down quarks, so strange particles, such as the Lambda particle, which contains an up, down, and strange quark, always lose their strangeness, radioactively decaying via the weak interaction to lighter particles containing only up and down quarks. But states with a larger number of quarks might not suffer from this instability. This is the "strange matter hypothesis" of Bodmer and Witten. According to this hypothesis, when a large enough number of quarks are collected together, the lowest energy state is one which has roughly equal numbers of up, down, and strange quarks, namely a strangelet. This stability would occur because of the Pauli exclusion principle; having three types of quarks, rather than two as in normal nuclear matter, allows more quarks to be placed in lower energy levels.
From the Wikipedia article on Strangelets.

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

hahah! FABULOUS! you have made my bday, dear Udge!
thank you ;D
K.

April 24, 2008 at 12:08:00 p.m. GMT+2  
Blogger Udge said...

Happy birthday, K (whover you are :-) I'm glad you enjoyed the strangelets.

April 24, 2008 at 12:37:00 p.m. GMT+2  
Blogger Geosomin said...

SCIENCE!

(whoosh!)

April 25, 2008 at 12:45:00 a.m. GMT+2  

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