Saturday, October 12, 2013

Nuclear Pasta: Bizarre New Form of Matter Discovered

Sometimes life seems simple. Night is night, and day is day. Gravity keeps you on the ground and water makes you wet. The Earth is solid and fog is not. These are the simple truths of life that help us make order from the chaos—they keep us sane. However, many of the things that we take for granted are a lot more complex than they first appear.

Take, for example, the most basic states of matter (we’ll use water to help us flesh out this example). First, you have your solids, like the ice that you skate across in the winter. Then, you have your liquids, like the water that you drink on a hot day. Lastly, you have your gasses, like the fog the drifts up from the lake on a warm evening.

Generally speaking, the state of matter depends in how packed the particles are and how freely they move about. Take the extremes: When in a gaseous state, particles move about one another and there is a lot of free space. Conversely, in solids, particles are locked in with one another and the space between is very limited. If you completed high school, this is probably something that you went over in your science class. But this is not the whole story…

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