Saturday, May 09, 2009

Neutron Stars: Billions of Times Stronger Than Steel

A new computer simulation on the core of neutron stars has revealed that it is extremely dense and 10 billion times stronger that the toughest steel that we know of. But that is more fascinating is how it relates to my previous blog entry of "gravity waves". It appears that imperfections, such as mountains, on the surface of the neutron stars can actually generate gravitational (gravity?) waves.

That incredible strength also means that when neutron stars form they can tolerate some imperfections on their surfaces. In this case, such imperfections can be mountain-sized bumps as heavy as Earth. As those bumps ride the fast-spinning stars, their mass disturbs spacetime enough to generate gravity waves, the simulations by Horowitz and Kadau show. First predicted by Albert Einstein, the waves are disruptions that radiate through the very fabric of spacetime. They travel as fast as light and can stretch every atom they encounter. Scientists have deployed new instruments in recent years in an attempt to observe the waves, but so far they have remained elusive.

Humm... gravity or gravitational? :)


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