The Most Dangerous Stuff in the Universe – Strange Stars Explained

By | October 10, 2019


Neutron stars are the densest things
that are not black holes. Neutron stars are the densest things
that are not black holes. In their cores, we might find
the most dangerous substance in existence: In their cores, we might find
the most dangerous substance in existence: strange matter᠎. A bizarre thing so extreme
that it bends the rules of the universe A bizarre thing so extreme
that it bends the rules of the universe strange matter᠎. and could infect and destroy everything
it comes into contact with. and could infect and destroy everything
it comes into contact with. Or, it could teach us about how the universe began. Or, it could teach us about how the universe began. Maybe both. Maybe both. To understand how extreme strange matter really is, To understand how extreme strange matter really is, we first need to get a few basics. we first need to get a few basics. What is a neutron star, and how does strange
matter break the rules of the universe? What is a neutron star, and how does strange
matter break the rules of the universe? To get all of this into one video,
we’ll grossly oversimplify a few things To get all of this into one video,
we’ll grossly oversimplify a few things but we’ll provide you with further reading,
if you want more details. but we’ll provide you with further reading,
if you want more details. A neutron star is what remains after a very
massive star explodes in a supernova. A neutron star is what remains after a very
massive star explodes in a supernova. When this happens, the star’s core collapses under its own gravity, When this happens, the star’s core collapses under its own gravity, with such a strong inward force with such a strong inward force that it squeezes nuclei and particles together violently. that it squeezes nuclei and particles together violently. Electrons are pushed into protons,
so they merge, and turn into neutrons. Electrons are pushed into protons,
so they merge, and turn into neutrons. All the ᠎nothing inside of atoms᠎
᠎is suddenly completely filled with particles All the ᠎nothing inside of atoms᠎
᠎is suddenly completely filled with particles that really don’t want to be close to each other but have no choice. that really don’t want to be close to each other but have no choice. They desperately push back against gravity, against the collapse. They desperately push back against gravity, against the collapse. If gravity wins, they will become a black hole. If gravity wins, they will become a black hole. If they win, they become a neutron star. If they win, they become a neutron star. This makes neutron stars like giant atomic nuclei the size of a city, This makes neutron stars like giant atomic nuclei the size of a city, but holding the mass of our Sun. but holding the mass of our Sun. And here, things get weird. And here, things get weird. The environment in the core of neutron stars is so extreme The environment in the core of neutron stars is so extreme that the rules of nuclear physics change. that the rules of nuclear physics change. And, this could lead to a strange
and extremely dangerous substance. And, this could lead to a strange
and extremely dangerous substance. But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We first need to know the rules
before we learn how they can be broken. We first need to know the rules
before we learn how they can be broken. Protons and neutrons, the particles
making up the nuclei of atoms, Protons and neutrons, the particles
making up the nuclei of atoms, are made up of smaller particles called ᠎quarks. are made up of smaller particles called ᠎quarks. Quarks really don’t want to be alone. Quarks really don’t want to be alone. They are what we call ᠎confined. They are what we call ᠎confined. You can try to separate them, but the harder you pull, You can try to separate them, but the harder you pull, the harder they try to pull themselves back together. the harder they try to pull themselves back together. If you use a lot of energy,
they just use this energy to create new quarks. If you use a lot of energy,
they just use this energy to create new quarks. Quarks only exist together
as the building blocks of other particles, Quarks only exist together
as the building blocks of other particles, and have never been observed by themselves. and have never been observed by themselves. They come in many types,
but only two appear to make stable matter: They come in many types,
but only two appear to make stable matter: the ᠎up and down quarks found in protons and neutrons. the ᠎up and down quarks found in protons and neutrons. All other quarks seem to decay away quickly. All other quarks seem to decay away quickly. But, this may be different inside neutron stars. But, this may be different inside neutron stars. The forces operating in ᠎their cores are so extreme, The forces operating in ᠎their cores are so extreme, that they are actually similar
to the universe shortly after the Big Bang. that they are actually similar
to the universe shortly after the Big Bang. Neutron star cores are like fossils Neutron star cores are like fossils which can let us peer back in time
to the beginning of everything. which can let us peer back in time
to the beginning of everything. So, learning how quarks behave inside a neutron star So, learning how quarks behave inside a neutron star is a way of understanding the very nature of the universe itself. is a way of understanding the very nature of the universe itself. One hypothesis, is that inside a neutron star core One hypothesis, is that inside a neutron star core protons and neutrons ᠎deconfine. protons and neutrons ᠎deconfine. All the particles cram shoulder-to-shoulder, All the particles cram shoulder-to-shoulder, dissolve, and melt into a sort-of bath of quarks. dissolve, and melt into a sort-of bath of quarks. Uncountable numbers of particles become
one giant thing made purely from quarks: Uncountable numbers of particles become
one giant thing made purely from quarks: quark matter᠎. quark matter᠎. A star made from this is called a ᠎quark star. A star made from this is called a ᠎quark star. Though, from the outside, it may not look
any different than a regular neutron star. Though, from the outside, it may not look
any different than a regular neutron star. Now, we can finally talk
about the most dangerous substance. Now, we can finally talk
about the most dangerous substance. If the pressure inside a quark star is great enough If the pressure inside a quark star is great enough it may get stranger. it may get stranger. Literally. Literally. In the cores of neutron stars, some of the quarks᠎
᠎may be converted into ᠎strange quarks. In the cores of neutron stars, some of the quarks᠎
᠎may be converted into ᠎strange quarks. Strange quarks have bizarre
nuclear properties and they are heavier Strange quarks have bizarre
nuclear properties and they are heavier and, for the lack of a better word, stronger. and, for the lack of a better word, stronger. If they turn up, they could create strange matter. If they turn up, they could create strange matter. Strange matter might be the ideal state of matter; Strange matter might be the ideal state of matter; perfectly dense, perfectly stable, indestructible. perfectly dense, perfectly stable, indestructible. More stable than any other matter in the universe. More stable than any other matter in the universe. So stable, that it can exist outside neutron stars. So stable, that it can exist outside neutron stars. If this is the case, we have a problem: If this is the case, we have a problem: it might be infectious. it might be infectious. Every piece of matter it touches
might be so impressed by its stability Every piece of matter it touches
might be so impressed by its stability that it would immediately turn it into strange matter, too. that it would immediately turn it into strange matter, too. Protons and neutrons would dissolve
and become part of the quark bath Protons and neutrons would dissolve
and become part of the quark bath which frees energy and creates more strange matter. which frees energy and creates more strange matter. The only way to get rid of it
would be to throw it into a black hole. The only way to get rid of it
would be to throw it into a black hole. But, then again, who cares? But, then again, who cares? All of it is inside neutron stars. All of it is inside neutron stars. Except when neutron stars collide with other neutron stars, Except when neutron stars collide with other neutron stars, or black holes, or black holes, they spew out tremendous amounts of their insides they spew out tremendous amounts of their insides some of which could include little droplets᠎
᠎of strange matter called ᠎strangelets. some of which could include little droplets᠎
᠎of strange matter called ᠎strangelets. Strangelets are as dense as the core of a neutron star. Strangelets are as dense as the core of a neutron star. They could be really small, maybe even subatomic, They could be really small, maybe even subatomic, but even the largest strangelets
wouldn’t be any bigger than a rocket. but even the largest strangelets
wouldn’t be any bigger than a rocket. These strangelets would drift
through the galaxy for millions or billions of years These strangelets would drift
through the galaxy for millions or billions of years until they meet a star or planet by chance. until they meet a star or planet by chance. If one were to strike Earth, it would immediately
start converting it into strange matter. If one were to strike Earth, it would immediately
start converting it into strange matter. The more it converts, the more it would grow. The more it converts, the more it would grow. Ultimately, all of the atoms
making up Earth would be converted. Ultimately, all of the atoms
making up Earth would be converted. Earth would become a hot clump
of strange matter, the size of an asteroid. Earth would become a hot clump
of strange matter, the size of an asteroid. If a strangelet strikes the Sun,
it would collapse into a strange star, If a strangelet strikes the Sun,
it would collapse into a strange star, eating through it like fire through a dry forest. eating through it like fire through a dry forest. This would not change the Sun’s mass much,
but it would become way less bright, This would not change the Sun’s mass much,
but it would become way less bright, so Earth would freeze to death. so Earth would freeze to death. And, like a tiny virus,
we’d have no way to see a strangelet coming. And, like a tiny virus,
we’d have no way to see a strangelet coming. Worse still, some theories
suggest strangelets are more than common Worse still, some theories
suggest strangelets are more than common outnumbering all stars in the galaxy. outnumbering all stars in the galaxy. These strangelets could have formed
very early after the Big Bang These strangelets could have formed
very early after the Big Bang when it was as hot and dense
as a neutron star core everywhere. when it was as hot and dense
as a neutron star core everywhere. They might be clumping around the gravity of galaxies, They might be clumping around the gravity of galaxies, as the universe expanded and evolved. as the universe expanded and evolved. Strangelets could even be so numerous and massive, Strangelets could even be so numerous and massive, that they might actually be the dark matter
we suspect holds galaxies together. that they might actually be the dark matter
we suspect holds galaxies together. But, then again, maybe not. But, then again, maybe not. This is speculation, and the Earth and Sun and planets This is speculation, and the Earth and Sun and planets haven’t been consumed in a wildfire
of strangelets in the past few billion years haven’t been consumed in a wildfire
of strangelets in the past few billion years so the odds seem good that it won’t happen anytime soon. so the odds seem good that it won’t happen anytime soon. Understanding these strange objects today may be
the key to understanding the birth of our universe Understanding these strange objects today may be
the key to understanding the birth of our universe and why it grew to look the way it does now. and why it grew to look the way it does now. When scientists first started playing with magnets
and wires and thinking about electrons, When scientists first started playing with magnets
and wires and thinking about electrons, they had no idea how technology
would evolve in the next hundred years. they had no idea how technology
would evolve in the next hundred years. The scientists thinking about the cause of
neutron stars and strange matter today The scientists thinking about the cause of
neutron stars and strange matter today may be setting up humans for
a future beyond our wildest imaginations. may be setting up humans for
a future beyond our wildest imaginations. Or, maybe not. Or, maybe not. Time will tell. Time will tell. So, while you’re waiting to see if the universe gets destroyed So, while you’re waiting to see if the universe gets destroyed you might still want to find out more about it. you might still want to find out more about it. We’ve got you. We’ve got you. Our friends from ᠎Brilliant can be᠎
᠎your insight into a whole world of science, Our friends from ᠎Brilliant can be᠎
᠎your insight into a whole world of science, black holes and all. black holes and all. Brilliant᠎ is a website that helps you᠎
᠎tackle science in a practical way, Brilliant᠎ is a website that helps you᠎
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100 thoughts on “The Most Dangerous Stuff in the Universe – Strange Stars Explained

  1. Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell Post author

    To support Kurzgesagt and learn more about Brilliant, go to https://www.brilliant.org/nutshell and sign up for free. The first 688 people that go to that link will get 20% off the annual Premium subscription.

    Reply
  2. The regular artist Post author

    Kurzgesagt: Literally everything is capable of destroying the universe, even a pencil

    Reply
  3. EncGaming Z Post author

    You would expect some actual sciency comments here but actually…..

    Its just memes lmao

    Reply
  4. Fin Mueller Post author

    Psssh, my mental health is too unstable that even this wouldn’t fix it

    Reply
  5. Mon Core Post author

    My life is like a neutron star… Im forced to coexist with people I dont like to be with. 🙁

    Reply
  6. Mon Core Post author

    My life is like a neutron star… Im forced to coexist with people I dont like to be with. 🙁

    Reply
  7. CRH-joto5243 Post author

    what if the whole universe is strange matter and what we percieve as strange matter is notmale matter for a higher civilization

    Reply
  8. Dustin Mock Post author

    So if the heaviest elements are formed by neutron star mergers, and although rare, we still have 10's of thousands of tons of the stuff on and in Earth, it's safe to say the strange matter hypothesis is dead, ya?

    Reply
  9. Conrad McCarthy Post author

    Wrong! There is something more dense than a neutron star that isn't a black hole, and it is called a Preon star.

    Reply
  10. Sam Brown Post author

    Who could actually dislike this video? They've provided everyone with a rudimentary of a wide range of scientific topics, they've given sources and credits where needed, and they've even created animations. <3

    Reply
  11. jay patterson Post author

    how come when the video gets interesting it ends. i wish i could learn more! great video

    Reply
  12. Abaixo da Crítica Post author

    So I guess we finally figured out why Dr. Strange is so powerful.

    Reply
  13. The LOL Minecrafter Post author

    ……Okay, now I'm upset at 0:45.

    That bird is taking the sum of the integral of factors divided by the cube of 2pi, with the whole thing multiplied by the square root of p squared plus m-sub-q squared, times the sum of f-sub-q-pos and f-sub-q-neg, with a bag added to the whole monstrosity.

    I understood it perfectly fine until I got to the part where you had to add a bag. What am I supposed to do? How am I supposed to add a bag to this?!

    Reply
  14. Iwan_Aizakku Post author

    Strange matter: "More stable than any matter in the universe"
    Thanos: Perfectly balanced as all things should be

    Reply
  15. Gentlemen Jim Post author

    Kurzgesagt: This video is sponsored by Brilliant

    Me: Not again

    Reply
  16. Maya Cerman Post author

    If I had watched this when I had OCD, I would have died from anxiety

    Reply
  17. Piroclanidis Post author

    Until strange matter discovers rule34 and becomes weird matter

    Reply
  18. TacoTakesOver Post author

    What if black matter is actually strange matter?

    Reply
  19. Ashley Grove Post author

    I hate myself for not being able to understand this at its most basic level. Intelligence is so important, and yet I have none of it.

    Reply
  20. TheOnlyGamerX Post author

    How long would it take Earth to be converted to strange matter after the strangelet hit the surface?

    Reply
  21. Jackie Jones Post author

    Is strange matter actually green and plasma or liquid like🧪 or is this just an artistic thing to make it look more like this🦠🦠🦠

    Reply
  22. Clintjohn Fernan Post author

    hes basically telling children that this things can kill the entire human race, nice

    Reply
  23. Kleine Spinne Post author

    This is totally random but the VISUALS ARE SO GODDAMN CUTE OMG

    Reply
  24. HifischLP Post author

    No one..
    Absolutely no Soul…

    Kurzgesagt: "Hey, here is another way we could all die without seeing it coming!"

    Reply
  25. David C. Post author

    If kurzgesagt were gods,

    they would not be very nice gods

    Reply
  26. Semi Simian Post author

    How do we expect to throw strange stars in black holes like basketball, if we can’t figure out a stable forward thinking system for people.

    Reply
  27. TheBlackHoleOfDoom Post author

    Strange matter: is indestructible
    Bedrock, barrier, end gateway, end portal, invisible bedrock, command blocks, chain command blocks and repeating command blocks: am I a joke to you?

    Reply
  28. necromancer Post author

    Green strange quarks seems less dangerous relative to their reputation, so make them black or red.

    Reply
  29. EjQuack 5 Post author

    So basically flubber but he has murderous intent…

    Reply
  30. Baked Utah Post author

    See! People may laugh at Mr Trump and his “Space Force”, but this is just more evidence that he is spot on. Clearly we need to build our extra-planetary defenses so we can handle all these infectious Strangelets when they invade. And those birds as well! I bet they’re in league with the Strangelets. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re actually in charge. Forget Russia, it’s Space-based sparrows we need to watch out for! Build That (Space) Wall! Build That (Space) Wall!

    Reply
  31. Interstellar Post author

    Kurzgesagt bird: exists
    Kurzgesagt: "im bout to end this man's whole career"

    Reply
  32. wizardFanatic Post author

    The Chamber of Guf is open…the door to the beginning and end of all things

    Reply
  33. Ben Herbst Post author

    My roommate had a question: what if you applied energy to strange matter? Since its perfect matter would it just reject it?

    Reply
  34. Quetzadilla Gaming Post author

    2:18 energy cannot be created or destroyed

    Reply
  35. Cute Critters and Friends Post author

    Quarks be like:

    Its free real estate

    Reply
  36. Sombre Plays Post author

    That bird seems a little too disappointed that it wasn’t converted into strange matter 👀

    Reply
  37. I’m a soft boy Post author

    "Neutron stars are the densest things that are not anti-vaxxers"

    Reply
  38. Anti- Bubble Post author

    So is that where the phrase "Stranger Danger" comes from

    Reply
  39. Yee NY Post author

    What if the strange quarks infect the birds

    Will there still be kurzgesagt videos??????

    Reply
  40. King Poro Post author

    How long would it take change matter to absorb the Earth

    Reply
  41. Cereal Man Post author

    We need to Build wall to keep this strange matter out.

    Reply
  42. Pixelated Cats Post author

    So your saying strange stars are like the destiny 2 hive?

    Reply
  43. gile gilson mladji Post author

    What if we turn in strange humans.will we be alive

    Reply
  44. Gokul Pillai Post author

    Funny how we are busy killing each other over religion and oil while completely oblivious that every second of our existence is a miracle

    Reply
  45. Keith Jason Post author

    WOW this video is horrifying. It really goes to show you how fragile our life is.

    Reply
  46. SMURF Post author

    What if strange matter meets another strange matter? Will the strange matter become more strange?

    Reply
  47. Roman Eestermans Post author

    I like how you can see the strange star pop up on the bottem right of the screen when its thrown into the black hole 4:39

    Reply
  48. Lithunoisan Hussars Post author

    What if the black hole became strange matter

    Reply
  49. Vignesh Krishnamoorthy Post author

    So strange matter is what synthesis was in the mass effect universe. Dang !! The reapers were right all along…. 🤯

    Reply
  50. killer gamer Post author

    Please create a video on the three elementary particles

    Reply
  51. 8Robba Post author

    That shit is utterly terrifying. But very interesting, holy cow!

    Reply
  52. Halbarró y Zanty' Post author

    Strangelet sounds like an insult pyrocinical would say

    Reply
  53. Ja Libi Post author

    What does a duck that studies nuclear science say?
    "quarck quarck"

    Reply
  54. Alien Anthony Post author

    If strange quarks would be created from extreme pressure than they should dissipate once ejected from once they no longer have the supporting energy.

    Reply
  55. Weptdinosaur708 Yo boi Post author

    You forgot killanovers where two neutron stars collide

    Reply
  56. Jesse Pinkman Post author

    I've seen some strange stars before and Imma let you finish but Beyonce had one of the best music videos of all time.

    Reply
  57. Mr. Skeletal Post author

    Isnt kurgz just a guy smashing his keyboard and collaborating with brilliant

    Reply
  58. EnderBoii Dora Post author

    What if before the Big Bang the universe was filled with strange matter and they are too dense so they created an explosion that clears our universe

    Reply
  59. Andrew Zhuk Post author

    Is it possible to create strange matter in the LHC?
    Maybe they need a little more energy to do that?
    It is pity, we won't figure it out in either way.

    Reply
  60. Silver Spoon Post author

    We used to talk about stranglets, as if the CERN could produce them in the LHC with strange mater, it's very hard. Even if it were produced, it owuld hardly escape the gravity of which it came from.

    Reply

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