NASA'S Chandra Finds Superfluid in Neutron Star's Core
NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory has discovered the first direct evidence for a superfluid, a bizarre, friction-free state of matter, at the core of a neutron star. Superfluids created in laboratories on Earth exhibit remarkable properties, such as the ability to climb upward and escape airtight containers. The finding has important implications for understanding nuclear interactions in matter at the highest known densities. More here...
This composite image shows a beautiful X-ray and optical view of Cassiopeia A (Cas A), a supernova remnant located in our Galaxy about 11,000 light years away. These are the remains of a massive star that exploded about 330 years ago, as measured in Earth's time frame. X-rays from Chandra are shown in red, green and blue along with optical data from Hubble in gold.
At the center of the image is a neutron star, an ultra-dense star created by the supernova. Ten years of observations with Chandra have revealed a 4% decline in the temperature of this neutron star, an unexpectedly rapid cooling. Two new papers by independent research teams show that this cooling is likely caused by a neutron superfluid
forming in its central regions, the first direct evidence for this bizarre state of matter in the core of a neutron star. More here...
Superfluidity is a state of matter, like solid, liquid or gas, in which the matter behaves like a fluid without viscosity and with infinite thermal conductivity. So the substance, which looks like a liquid, will flow uncontrollably, and also will be at exactly the same temperature throughout itself. Despite its lack of viscosity, the liquid still has surface tension which allows it to rise up the sides of its container without the normal restrictions of flow. This allows the liquid to "flow" up the the sides of the container and over the top.