The Universe’s Most Dangerous Weapon (maybe)

The Universe's Most Dangerous Weapon (maybe)

Juan Corral, Staff Writer

From Earth, outer space seems to be pretty calm and still, without a care in the world.  But if we take a closer look, like, VERY close, the Universe is filled with promise of destruction.  There can be chaos wherever you look.  Asteroids colliding, black holes swallowing everything in its path, even supernovas destroying planets that could have contained life!  But this theory that will be discussed can completely change our Universe, and we wouldn’t be able to stop it.

Image result for quarksYou have probably been told that everything is made of atoms, and that atoms are made of protons and neutrons.  But you were not told what these special little guys are made of.  These small beings are called quarks.  Quarks do not like being alone, and they are likely found in a pair of three, connected together.  They enjoy their company a little too much, however, and it would be almost impossible to separate them.  These quarks exist together as the building blocks of particles.  Here on our planet, the quarks have no reason to split each other apart, but that can change inside a chaotic force: a neutron star.

Image result for free neutron star picturesNeutron stars come from massive stars that die after a supernova.  They are made of protons and electrons that melted into each other to form neutrons, thus its name.  This is caused by the star collapsing into itself by its own gravity.  Because of this, the neutron stars are extremely hot and very heavy.  They are so heavy, one teaspoon of it will weigh about a BILLION tons!  And it’s in constant motion, spinning nearly 43,000 times a minute.  So, what do these stars have to do with the greatest weapon of the Universe?

If these neutron stars are as crazy as they seem on the outside, image the core.  Image result for red quarksWell, this is how the theory starts.  If the inside of the neutron star is so hot and filled with pressure, it should be enough to make the quarks inside them separate from one another, to a degree that the core would now be a bath of quarks roaming around inside the neutron star.  This is where the weird stuff starts to happen.  The quarks that were once there start to transform into a brand new kind of quark, a “strange quark.”  The strange quarks start building up inside the neutron star to form a new kind of matter, “strange matter.”  Image result for quarksThis is the weapon the Universe must fear.  This strange matter would be the most powerful and indestructible kind of matter there is.  If they exist, that would mean strange matter existed shortly after the Big Bang, a time when the young Universe was just as blazing as the insides of neutron stars.  Neutron stars can be the fossils of what it once was of the Big Bang. But, if they were real, all life we as we know it, will be doomed.

Because the other matters we know about are weaker than strange matter, our matter can easily be overcome.  If the strange matter comes in contact with other matters, it can infect it, turning it into strange matter as well.  It can spread.  Even just a small pebble of strange matter can eat its way through an entire star.  If one was to land on the Sun, it would start turning it into the strange matter, continuing to eat it until it turns into a strange star.  This will cause the size of the Sun to shrink, ultimately causing life on Earth to diminish.  If one was to land on Earth, it will devour it like wildfire, until it turns into a strange planet.  All life would turn into this infectious being, and Earth will become uninhabitable.  Image result for free neutron star picturesBut we should be fine, right?  It is all inside the neutron star…  That is true unless we forget that neutron stars can collide with other neutron stars, spitting out their insides.  There would be no stopping it.

So, what are the chances of this theory being true?  Well, pretty unlikely.  Our solar system has been around for nearly 4.5 billion years, and we have not been hit by any strange matter so far.  Plus, there have not been any signs of strange stars or strange planets during any star observations.  We are can say we are safe for now.  All we have now are equations, science, and imagination.