Simulation of merging neutron stars calculated with supercomputers. Different colors show the mass density and the temperature after the merger has taken place and before the object collapses to a black hole. Quarks could form where temperature and density are higher. Image: C. Breu, L. Rezzolla
The fundamental properties of matter revealed by merging neutron stars - space short science news

Quarks are the smallest building blocks of matter, and are always tightly bound inside protons and neutrons. However, neutron stars are so dense that it is possible for a transition from neutron matter to quark matter can occur.

Scientists have found envidence for free quarks by measuring gravitational waves that were emitted by merging neutron stars, and using Einstein equations.

Thus, a cosmic event of merging neutron stars gives insight in the fundemental properties of matter.

Read the full story: Helmholtz Association (GSI)
Scientific publication: Physical Review Letters