Originally posted by sonhouse
I just watched a discovery channel show about strange stars, among them neutron stars with magnetar properties also. The guy said a pail of the stuff would weigh or mass as much as Mount Everest.
My question is, does anyone know if, for instance, you had an infinitely powerful force that could grab a handful of the stuff and take it out to space or to Eart ...[text shortened]... n opened up on Earth, would it form a mountain again or would it maintain its compressed nature?
This is my guessing of what will happen if you pull up a load of neutronium from a neutron star:
Neutronium is matter where electrons and protons has fused into neutrons leaving no empty space in between. It's a kind of compact matter. Its dencity is the same as a single neutron. So if a body consists solely of neutrons then the whole body could be treated as one, and one only atom. An atom without electrons and protons, only neutrons. A nucleus of neutrons.
Neutron matter like this is stable only in its compressed state. The pressure comes from the heavy gravitation in an neutron star. If you release it from it's pressure, then it's not stable anymore. It will explode when the neutrons will fly apart from eachother. Why? Because it's no forces holding the neutrons together so when the pressure ends they will fly apart.
But will the neutronium be ordinary matter again? Will a neutron break up in an electron and proton again, forming hydrogene and other elements? I don't know, but I don't think so.
A neutron start consists however not only of neutronium. In it's outer part it is more or less ordinary atoms, with electrons and protons. Under this layer it is neutronium as we know it. But where the pressure is even higher, in the center of an neutron star, noone knows for sure. Sometimes it is called a quark soup where all quarks are tumbeling around, not forming the usual triplets forming neutrons.
This is only guesswork from me, nothing more. Feel free to correct me wherever you think it's needed.