Part of the Electronics glossary:

Strange matter is matter consisting of atom s whose nuclei contain pairs of particles called strange quark s. Quarks are believed to be elementary particles, in the sense that they cannot be broken down into smaller components. There are several types of quarks, with exotic names such as up quark, down quark, and strange quark. These names were invented to differentiate among quarks with various characteristics.

An atom of normal matter has a nucleus consisting of one or more proton s, and, with the exception of ordinary hydrogen, one or more neutron s. Protons and neutrons are made up of up quarks and down quarks in certain combinations. Strange matter, however, has nuclei that also contain strange quarks. This makes strange matter different from matter in the everyday sense. One of the notable characteristics of strange matter is its extreme density. A fragment of strange matter the size of a biological cell would have a mass of hundreds of kilogram s.

Scientists have produced atoms of strange matter in the laboratory, using a machine called a particle accelerator or atom smasher. Some astronomers believe that strange matter exists in interstellar and intergalactic space, particularly in dense objects such as stars that have spent all their atomic fuel and collapsed under the influence of their own gravitation. Such stars are optically invisible because they have stopped shining.

If the universe contains many objects made up of strange matter, then there is far more mass in the cosmos than calculations based on visual observations suggest. If the existence of strange matter in large quantities can be proven, the fact could have a profound effect on theories concerning whether or not the universe is dense enough to eventually collapse under its own gravitation.

This was last updated in September 2005
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms

Definitions

  • digital assistant

    - A digital assistant is an application program that can understand natural human language and complete electronic tasks for the end user. (WhatIs.com)

  • flash storage

    - Flash storage, based on flash memory, is used for data repositories, storage systems and consumer devices, such as USB drives, smartphones and solid-state drives. Flash-based storage is faster than... (WhatIs.com)

  • media center PC

    - A media center PC is a dedicated computer connected to the user's digital TV. The computer components are typically chosen for characteristics such as low power consumption, low heat dissipation, i... (WhatIs.com)

Glossaries

  • Electronics

    - Terms related to electronics, including definitions about electrical components and words and phrases about computers, laptops parts, digital cameras, televisions and home appliances.

  • Internet applications

    - This WhatIs.com glossary contains terms related to Internet applications, including definitions about Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery models and words and phrases about web sites, e-commerce ...

Ask a Question. Find an Answer.Powered by ITKnowledgeExchange.com

Ask An IT Question

Get answers from your peers on your most technical challenges

Ask Question
  • Accessing my Hotmail account from France

    I've seen this behavior before with certain services. This question would be best suited for Microsoft. You can reach support at http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/hotmail/hotmail-help.

  • Strange Oracle 9i behaviour

    <i>1) Are the servers hardware in terms of CPU and memory allocation for your various SGA, DB buffer cache, shared pool, etc identical ? Are you using Automatic Memory Management, btw ?</i...

  • Starting VM as an executable with as low overhead as possible

    I would use the following: VM-Player installed. Script to launch the command ""[PATH]\vmplayer.exe -X [PATH]\domain_controller.vmx" Configure this script to run as a service {http://sourceforge.ne...

Tech TalkComment

Share
Comments

    Results

    Contribute to the conversation

    All fields are required. Comments will appear at the bottom of the article.