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A quark-nova is the hypothetical violent explosion resulting from the conversion of a neutron star to a quark star. Analogous to a supernova heralding the birth of a neutron star, a quark nova signals the creation of a quark star. The term quark-novae was coined in 2002 by Dr. Rachid Ouyed (currently at the University of Calgary, Canada)[1] and Drs. J. Dey and M. Dey (Calcutta University, India).[2]

The nova process

When a neutron star spins down, it may convert to a quark star through a process known as quark deconfinement. The resultant star would have quark matter in its interior. The process would release immense amounts of energy, perhaps explaining the most energetic explosions in the universe; calculations have estimated that as much as 1047 J could be released from the phase transition inside a neutron star.[3] Quark-novae may be one cause of gamma ray bursts. According to Jaikumar et al.,[4] they may also be involved in producing heavy elements such as platinum through r-process nucleosynthesis.

Rapidly spinning neutron stars with masses between 1.5 and 1.8 solar masses are theoretically the best candidates for conversion due to spin down of the star within a Hubble time. This amounts to a small fraction of the projected neutron star population. A conservative estimate based on this, indicates that up to two quark-novae may occur in the observable universe each day.

Theoretically, quark stars would be radio-quiet, so radio-quiet neutron stars may be quark stars.

Direct evidence for quark-novae is scant; however, recent observations of supernovae SN 2006gy, SN 2005gj and SN 2005ap may point to their existence.[5][6]
See also

QCD matter, also known as Quark matter – Theorized phases of matter whose degrees of freedom include quarks and gluons
Quark-degenerate matter
SN 2006gy
SN 2005gj


"Quark Nova Project". Retrieved 13 Sep 2018.
R. Ouyed; J. Dey; M. Dey (2002). "Quark-Nova". Astronomy and Astrophysics. 390 (3): L39–L42.arXiv:astro-ph/0105109. Bibcode:2002A&A...390L..39O. doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20020982. S2CID 124427846.
"Theories of Quark-novae". Archived from the original on October 7, 2012. Retrieved 11 Feb 2009.
Prashanth Jaikumar; Meyer; Kaori Otsuki; Rachid Ouyed (2007). "Nucleosynthesis in neutron-rich ejecta from Quark-Novae". Astronomy and Astrophysics. 471: 227–236.arXiv:nucl-th/0610013. Bibcode:2007A&A...471..227J. doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20066593. S2CID 119093518.
Astronomy Now Online - Second Supernovae Point to Quark Stars

Leahy, Denis; Ouyed, Rachid (2008). "Supernova SN2006gy as a first ever Quark Nova?". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 387 (3): 1193.arXiv:0708.1787. Bibcode:2008MNRAS.387.1193L. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2008.13312.x. S2CID 15696112.

External links

Quark-novae produce neutrino bursts, which can be detected by neutrino observatories
Quark Stars Could Produce Biggest Bang (SpaceDaily) June 7, 2006
Quark Nova Project animations (University of Calgary)



Type Ia Type Ib and Ic Type II (IIP, IIL, IIn, and IIb) Hypernova Superluminous Pair-instability

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Calcium-rich Carbon detonation Foe Near-Earth Phillips relationship Nucleosynthesis
P-process R-process Neutrinos


pulsational pair-instability Failed Gamma-ray burst Kilonova Luminous red nova Nova Pulsar kick Quark-nova Symbiotic nova


yellow Luminous blue variable Supergiant
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