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Department of Physics

Dr. Mark Alford
Washington University St. Louis
Mark Alford
Quark matter: the high-density frontier

102 Cardwell Hall
September 17, 2018
4:15 p.m. 

What happens when matter is squeezed, perhaps in the core of a neutron star, to the highest densities in the universe? According to the standard model, the densest predicted state of matter is color-superconducting quark matter. A color superconductor is very different from an "ordinary" electrical superconductor: it occurs at ultra-high density and has a much richer phase structure because quarks come in many varieties. This form of matter may well exist in the core of neutron stars, and the search for signatures of its presence is currently proceeding. I will give an accessible review of the features of color-superconducting quark matter, and discuss some ideas for finding it in nature.