Neuron stars (was: Re: Setting the controls for the sun)

Damien Broderick (
Sun, 17 Aug 1997 14:16:20 +0000

At 10:09 PM 8/16/97 -0400, Dan wrote:

>The question, of course, is whether
>or not neutronium can exist in the form of collapsed atoms.
>If so, some sort of chemistry should be possible, and therefore
>nanotech may be possible. [snip]

> may require new
>physics. Of course, the instant you start depending on new
>physics the entire speculation becomes unconstrained.

A big problem with using neutron stars as computational platforms (a.k.a.
turning them into neuron stars) is that they might actually be kaon or
strange stars, and who knows what the physics is then? Gerald Brown and
Hans Bethe have argued that the standard stellar dynamics narrative, in
which gravitational collapse forces protons and electrons together (so to
speak) to build neutrons and runaway neutrinos, might be only partially
correct. They suggest that the electrons might do a lepton=>hadron
transition, turning into kaons (which contain a strange quark). Usually
massive kaons decay mighty fast, but the Brown-Bethe models sez that the
weird environment of a supernova remnant could allow kaons to shed most of
their quarky mass (decoupling from the Higgs field? don't ask me, mate, I
just work here), so they skid around like electrons in a superconductive
environment. Would you wish to upload into a substrate like that? Maybe
it would be ideal - fast and slippery. Hmmm.

Damien Broderick