suggests that the outer crusts of so-called neutron stars are the strongest known material in the universe.
The results showed that the crust of a neutron star can withstand a breaking strain up to ten billion times the pressure it would take to snap steel.
The article also provides a reminder that
Unlike normal stars, neutron stars have solid outer shells that hold a soup of superdense subatomic particles, astronomers believe.
Even though a neutron star’s crust is incredibly strong, it can crack due to stress from the star’s powerful magnetic field, experts say.
The computer model apparently also has implications for the height of so-called neutron star “mountains,” irregularities on the surfaces of the stars that are thought to help create gravitational waves.
The waves are theoretical ripples in the fabric of space-time that race outward at light speed from massive spinning objects.
The new calculations suggest the mountains are more like stellar goose bumps than giant peaks.
For instance, the mountains can be a few kilometers wide but only about a centimeter (0.39 inch) high.
The research will be detailed in an upcoming issue of Physical Review Letters.