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Using the Moon and Mars as Giant Detectors for Strange Quark NuggetsOn the Earth, the detectability of small seismic signals is limited by pervasive seismic background noise, caused primarily by interactions of the atmosphere and oceans with the solid surface. Mars, with a very thin atmosphere and no ocean is expected to have a noise level at least an order of magnitude lower than the Earth, and the airless Moon is even quieter still. These pristine low-vibration environments are ideal for searching for nuggets of "strange quark matter." Strange quark matter was postulated by Edward Witten [Phys. Rev. D30, 272, 1984] as the lowest possible energy state of matter. It would be made of up, down, and strange quarks, instead of protons and neutrons made only of up and down quarks. It would have nuclear densities, and hence be difficult to detect. Micron-sized nuggets would weigh in the ton range. As suggested by de Rujula and Glashow [Nature 312 (5996): 734, 1984], a massive strange quark nugget can generate a trail of seismic waves, as it traverses a celestial body. We discuss the mission concept for deploying a network of sensitive seismometers on Mars and on the Moon for such a search.
Document ID
20060014028
Document Type
Conference Paper
Authors
Chui, Talso (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Penanen, Konstantin (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Strayer, Don (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Banerdt, Bruce (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Tepliz, Vigdor (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Herrin, Eugene (Southern Methodist Univ. Dallas, TX, United States)
Date Acquired
August 23, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2004
Publication Information
Publication: Proceedings of the 2004 NASA/JPL Workshop on Physics for Planetary Exploration
Subject Category
Astrophysics
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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IDRelationTitle20060014017Analytic PrimaryProceedings of the 2004 NASA/JPL Workshop on Physics for Planetary Exploration