Theoretical physicist Felipe Jose Llanes-Estrada of Complutense University of Madrid recently co-authored a study that suggests gravity inside super-dense stars may squash neutrons into cubes, leading to:
The idea could mean that neutron stars, as researchers call the stellar corpses, are denser than anyone expected. It could also question what stops them from collapsing into black holes and out of existence.
Wired’s post also notes that the study hasn’t been warmly received by all:
Particle physicist Richard Hill of the University of Chicago, for example, noted the study looks at a neutron in isolation, not in aggregate.
“It’s an interesting idea, but what happens among the neutrons isn’t clear,” said Hill, who wasn’t involved in the study. At the densities in neutron stars, he noted, the “identities of individual neutrons may be blurred out.”