In a recent paper published in Astrophysical Journal Letters, Goethe University Frankfurt physicists serve up a new insight about the structure of the elusive neutron star. It’s surprisingly similar to a chocolate praline! The study suggests “light” neutron stars (smaller than 1.7 solar masses) have soft mantles and stiff cores, similar to chocolates with hazelnuts in the center. By contrast, “heavy” neutron stars (larger than 1.7 solar masses) have stiff mantles and soft cores, like chocolates with creamy filling.
Evidence of neutron stars was first detected at Cambridge in 1967 through pulsating radio waves and scientists have been using theoretical models to study their structure and composition ever since. Recreating the material on Earth just isn’t practical; neutron stars are so dense, a single neutron-chocolate praline would weigh as much as Mount Everest!
While our collective understanding of neutron stars still has a long way to go, chocolate pralines are a delicious place to start! Craving more? Check out the links below for delectable data:
On the Sound Speed in Neutron Stars
Cosmic Chocolate Pralines: General Neutron Star Structure Revealed
Neutron Stars Structure Resembles Chocolate Pralines, With Stiff Mantle and Soft Core [Study]
Mathematical Models Shed New Light on the Interior of Neutron Stars